London Metropolitan University Research Institutes
 

The role that student clubs and associations play in citizenship education within Latvia

Author(s) Jurgena, I. & Mikainis, Z.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2012  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell (eds.) Creating Communities: Local, National and Global  
Age group -  
Keywords/Abstract
As a result of social and economic transformations a new situation has developed in Latvia at the beginning of the 21st century. Along with the formation of civil society, issues concerning the social, legal, and spiritual life of the student population have come to the fore. New features of behavioural culture and standards of thinking can be observed, as well as a readiness to live in a democratic environment. The younger generation perceives freedom and equality as necessary preconditions for various activities, and as an opportunity for individual self-actualisation. The institutions of higher education play an important role in the formation of social consciousness and serve as the environment in which citizenship can be developed. One of the most important aspects of the educational environment are the various student interest groups and clubs, the main purpose of which is to promote students’ readiness to live in civil society by developing their creative potential and public administration skills. The activities of clubs and associations create preconditions for meeting the varied communication needs of young people as well as the real application of personal initiative and responsibility. As for the development of citizenship, the activities taking place in such clubs help provide important social spaces in which positive social experience can be acquired. At this level, students’ citizenship mainly manifests itself as active participation in public administration, involvement in definite socially important activities, and direct participation in the development of economic, political, and cultural life. It should be noted that these activities can be realised both individually and through active group cooperation in various organisations. The purpose of the article is to study and analyse the various student clubs and associations within higher education institutions in Latvia that are aimed at the development of citizenship. Keywords: youth policy, citizenship education, student clubs
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