Citizenship education is an important component of the contemporary school curriculum, particularly in the subject of social studies. This article argues that citizenship education is not new in New Zealand. It underpinned the introduction of social studies in the common core curriculum in the 1940s: and even before that international views on citizenship education influenced some New Zealand schools. Case studies show that citizenship education has been linked to democratic values and while the role of school has been to transmit culture it has also had the potential to act as an agent of social reform.
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