All Curriculum is Local

To become a digital citizen, kids need to understand themselves and the immediate physical world.

Photo of Matt Renwick
5 6

Written by

We should teach and model citizenship, both online and offline. By building a strong understanding of the concept of "citizenship" at an early age, by focusing on local and immediate issues, students can generalize these skills and values to a digital presence.

Share research or student experiences that informed your idea!

Beyond Ecophobia by David Sobel (Orion Society, 1999)
Place-based Curriculum Design by Amy B. Demarest (Routledge, 2015)


Join the conversation:

Photo of Paul Kim

Matt -- great premise! I am on board with your thinking here. Thanks for sharing some research. If you have some time, it would be great to have you explain how the research connects to digital citizenship.

Photo of Matt Renwick

I see citizenship as a concept and skill - not something that happens in digital environments. People need to empathize and build perspective regardless of the medium. For me, it's disappointing that we are talking about citizenship only in the context of technology.

Photo of Dalton McCurdy

I think you make a great point. As we talk about digital citizenship it's also important to create a foundation of overall citizenship- and what rights, duties, and obligations come along with this status within a community. I'd love to hear about some of the ways you've applied this thinking in your classes!

Photo of Matt Renwick

We have started by identifying and visiting local areas of interest. The concept of citizenship can be investigated in different ways and on students' terms.

Photo of Greg Gilson

I think this is great insight. As the saying goes, all politics are local. If students have a better understanding of their own community (and their place in it), they will be better able to empathize and work for positive change.