Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


Citizenship education in the social studies curriculum has traditionally stressed the importance of the freedoms, rights and responsibilities bestowed on the American people as a privilege and an honor. U.S. citizenship has been held in esteem with such enduring American images of Ellis Island, war propaganda and rallying cries from politicians on what it means to be a citizen of the United States. This paper strives to shatter some of those long held ideals and encourage an open dialogue of citizenship rights and denials throughout the history of the United States. Citizenship education needs to examine the differing interpretations throughout the time periods of what a citizen was and who qualified for this right. The first section of the paper discusses the ideals of citizenship through a historiographical approach. The second section of this paper examines the failure of citizen's rights throughout the history of the United States and the final section is a portfolio, grounded in educational research on topics and resources appropriate to use in discussion with students as they examine citizenship ideals in a new way.

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