Developing cosmopolitan communication: The latest research on CosmoKidz
The UK’s Institute for Citizenship suggests the aim of citizenship education is:
- To equip young people with the knowledge, skills and understanding to play an active, effective part in society as informed, critical citizens who are socially and morally responsible.
- To give them the confidence and conviction so that they can act with others, have influence and make a difference in their communities (locally, nationally and globally).
In describing the potential of Citizenship education, Professor Sir Bernard Crick said:
We aim at no less than a change in the political culture of this country both nationally and locally: for people to think of themselves as active citizens, willing, able and equipped to have an influence in public life and with the critical capacities to weigh evidence before speaking and acting.
Like the Kettering Foundation and the Institute for Citizenship, the CMM Institute believes the skills and abilities required for this kind of engaged citizenship need to be taught very young and reinforced throughout life as a way of creating robust “interpersonal and cultural competencies.” The importance of this task cannot be overstated, given the cultural and political fraying that is occurring across the globe.
For the past five years, we have conducted research to test the effectiveness of CosmoKidz activities to help develop children’s abilities to communicate in ways that help make better social worlds. We’ve paired these conversations with periodic modified deliberations to assess whether young children are better able to engage in deliberations because of the conversational patterns they are learning through CosmoKidz.
In the latest research report we summarise the results of the second year of our program at Mountain Vista School, Hammond LA. Once again the finings overwhelmingly support the efficacy and importance of CosmoKidz activities.
To learn more about the effectiveness of CosmoKidz in achieving the aim of equipping children with the skills to become effectively engaged, collaborative participants in their own micro and macro social worlds, see the full report prepared by Kim Pearce here.