Teacher training session on Citizenship Education.
In present changing time it is more more important to specify why citizenship is important to us. For the benefit of our readers we are producing relevant extracts from the website WWW.CitizenshipFoundation.Org.UK. Edit
Citizenship is to:
What is citizenship education?
We want young people to leave school or college with an understanding of the political, legal and economic functions of adult society, and with the social and moral awareness to thrive in it.
“Citizenship education is essential for preparing young people for our shared democratic life.”Democratic Life coalition, 2010
“It’s the job of the education system to prepare our young people for the challenges and opportunities of a changing world.”Rekha Bhakoo CBE, Headteacher, Newton Farm School (Top Performing Primary School in England, 2011)
Citizenship education is about enabling people to make their own decisions and to take responsibility for their own lives and their communities.
“Citizenship is more than a subject. If taught well and tailored to local needs, its skills and values will enhance democratic life for all of us, both rights and responsibilities, beginning in school and radiating out.”Bernard Crick, National Curriculum Citizenship, 1999
It is not about trying to fit everyone into the same mould, or about creating ‘model’ or ‘good’ citizens. We want our schools and colleges not simply to teach citizenship but to demonstrate it through the way they operate.
Why teach citizenship?
There are elements of citizenship education in many subjects – such as English, history and maths – as well as in a school’s SMSC outcomes (see doingsmsc.org.uk). But citizenship education is more than that. Democracies need active, informed and responsible citizens; citizens who are willing and able to take responsibility for themselves and their communities and contribute to the political process.
Democracies depend upon citizens who, among other things, are:
- aware of their rights and responsibilities as citizens;
- informed about the social and political world;
- concerned about the welfare of others;
- articulate in their opinions and arguments;
- capable of having an influence on the world;
- active in their communities;
- responsible in how they act as citizens.
These capacities do not develop unaided. They have to be learnt. While a certain amount of citizenship may be picked up through ordinary experience in the home or at work, it can never in itself be sufficient to equip citizens for the sort of active role required of them in today’s complex and diverse society. If citizens are to become genuinely involved in public life and affairs, a more explicit approach to citizenship education is required. This approach should be:
- Inclusive: An entitlement for all young people regardless of their ability or background;
- Pervasive: Not limited to schools but an integral part of all education for young people;
- Lifelong: Continuing throughout life.
And, as Democratic Life points out, citizenship is the only subject in the national curriculum that teaches about the way democracy,politics, the economy and the law.