What Does It Mean to Be a Citizen? A Comparative Study of Teachers’ Conceptions in Spain and Chile

Rosendo Martínez-Rodríguez, María Sánchez-Agustí, Carlos Muñoz-Labraña


The aim of our research has been to analyse the conceptions of citizenship held by history teachers in secondary schools in Spain and Chile, while at the same time relating these to their perceptions of the socio-political and socio-economic contexts of their countries. The study compares the conceptions of teachers from these two countries which share a similar recent history and have both experienced strong movements of popular protest and political detachment. The methodology was qualitative and made use of semi-structured interviews. The study analysed dialogues from 70 teachers, 35 in each country. The initial results indicate a predominance of moral and participatory conceptions of citizenship, to the detriment of legal or identity-based conceptions. The controversial political, social and economic context of both countries within which the interviews were conducted is a key factor to understanding the teachers’ perspectives on their conceptions and the meaning of these.


teachers’ conceptions; citizenship; citizenship education; history teaching

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.25159/1947-9417/4209

Copyright (c) 2019 Rosendo Martínez-Rodríguez, María Sánchez-Agustí, Carlos Muñoz-Labraña

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