What does it mean to be a citizen in a country or culture that has “democratic” ambitions? It is for that type of country or culture I write because authoritarian political systems do not have a goal of creating open-minded, leadership oriented citizens. They wish instead to control both content and character.

But if the goal is not only participatory citizenship but even active influencing we need to look at the methods used in schools. Do the teaching and learning methods used promote curiosity, personal initiative, personal responsibility, group collaboration and creative problem solving? If yes, continue on! If no, then there is work to do – if you believe it is important to engage and encourage active citizenship and develop democracy.