Mapping the dynamics of citizenship: the articulation of identity in an immersive virtual environment

Δημοσιευμένα: Σεπ 21, 2023
citizenship identity virtual environments education
Stewart Martin

Young people from communities with distinct religious or cultural identities have often found it difficult to engage with or be welcomed into citizenship in the UK, where there is not felt to be a strong sense of inclusive national identity or of citizenship which embraces Europe comfortably. However, there is a general consensus that there is a need to develop a contemporary and more inclusive conception of citizenship and a wider participatory democracy. This paper presents a project that uses a custom-built immersive virtual environment that is designed to understand how immersive virtual worlds can improve the thinking and decision making ability of young people about citizenship, and help them develop identities in which strongly held cultural and religious convictions are in harmony with their role as active citizens in contemporary British society. The project is working with young people in secondary schools and their teachers in the North-east of England to: • create an interactive, immersive learning environment within which conceptions of ‘citizenship’ can be explored using avatars in real-time and developed by the participants in innovative ways not available within traditional learning environments • use this environment to articulate the critical factors preventing full engagement with contemporary expressions of citizenship and offer developmental exits from the impasses perceived by them • map the key factors contributing to individual and collective citizenship identity formation for young people both as UK citizens and as members of a particular culture or religion using a mixedmethods approach comprised of avatar-mediated projection techniques for examining contentious and sensitive identity issues, group-based work, active listening, reflection and biography  

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