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‘South Africa is my best world.’

The voices of child citizens in a democratic South Africa

Ina Joubert

Questions and theoretical debates arising from considerations of the role of democratic citizenship education in several countries in the world are evident in academic literature. However, very little research on the voices of young children on their experiences and understandings of their citizenship and their democratic identity exists. In her book the author grapples with the nuanced concept of democratic citizenship education and how this affects the lives of young children. The book is based on a case study: the nine-year-old children of an inner-city school in South Africa and their life experiences of a democratic South Africa as child citizens. The data gathering process is innovative and multiple participatory data collection instruments were used. The author reminds the reader that theoretical debates on citizenship will benefit from reflections in and beyond classrooms by children themselves. This research-based project reveals how the perspectives of young children are critical to their understandings of what it means to be South Africans.