Classrooms, Controversies, and Insurgent Citizenship: The Teaching of Contentious Topics in Two Philippine Secondary Schools

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Unabated economic; social; and political disparities continue to plague contemporary Philippine society despite the ongoing democratization project. Access to basic services such as housing; education; and health care remain asymmetrical. The continuing prevalence of deeply entrenched inequalities in the Philippines compel a reframing of notions of citizenship. Informed by principles of critical global citizenship; and drawing insight from anthropologist James Holston; this chapter argues that alternative; plural; and more subversive forms of citizenship are necessary to understand more profoundly engage; and possibly transform institutions and structures that reproduce and reinforce these imbalances. Using two Philippine schools as cases; it showcases ways of establishing and sustaining critical spaces of inquiry that are centered on the teaching of controversial issues. Through the teaching of these topics and the employment of pedagogical approaches that provoke rigorous investigation of enduring inequalities and injustices; these schools serve as mechanisms for developing and enabling insurgent citizens.