Citizens Not Research Subjects: Toward a More Democratic Civic Education Inquiry Methodology

Terrence C. Mason, Ginette Delandshere


Research methodologies and conceptions of curriculum are not all equivalent in their moral, ethical, or socio-political consideration of individuals and communities. The purpose of this paper is to explore the consistency of research methodology used in civic education with the principles that we believe underlie civic engagement, participation and action, and, more specifically, those principles that relate to inclusion, dialogue, and deliberation (House & Howe, 1999).  To do so, we analyze and offer alternatives to some recent research efforts in terms of their relationship to democratic educational practices and the extent to which research in civic education takes into account the local context and concerns of participants.