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Teaching Citizenship

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Citizenship, exclusively, is both a discrete subject and also a culture – which is a way of living with its own distinct set of values, attitudes and nature which supports continuous lifelong learning. Since citizenship education is so completely new to the curriculum in most schools, the timetable contexts in which it takes place are likely to vary quite considerably.
‘Many schools are recognizing the wider benefits of citizenship and offer ‘special themed days’ with a collapsed timetable and specialist speakers. In some schools, citizenship may be part of, and an extension to, existing programme of Pastoral, Social and Health Education (PSHE). In others there may be timetable slots quite explicitly labelled ‘Citizenship’.
In yet others, the requirements of the citizenship curriculum may be addressed within a framework of ‘Humanities’ teaching. Still other schools may decide to address citizenship in a totally ’embedded’ cross-curricular way, identifying specific elements of the citizenship curriculum to be included in individual subject departments’ schemes of work.
Some schools are taking the opportunity to reflect on their organisation and are embracing a citizenship ethos in which citizenship concepts and knowledge are developed through active participation and greater learner responsibility.
These schools have effective schools councils, student consultation and representation, shadowing, specialist student training, peer work, whole school special focus days, local and national student elections, involvement with other schools and links with the wider community including their local councilors and MP.
Trainees on the course are encouraged to see themselves, first and foremost, as citizenship teachers capable of straddling most, if not all, of the fields of knowledge and pedagogical approaches to which reference has been made.
Realistically, and in order to build a viable personal teaching timetable while on school experience, there may be a need to undertake some work in a ‘traditional’ subject allied to your degree specialism. Some students, (for example, those with degrees in psychology or sociology), may be able to contribute to post-16 teaching in these subjects.
Trainees will need to be enterprising. prepared to take considerable responsibility for their own professional development. daring enough to want to shape the future of citizenship education. and dedicated to (and preferably with some successful experience of) ‘making a difference’ to the lives of young people’. (Graduate School of Education, Copyright 2007 – University of Bristol.)
Teaching Citizenship through history:
‘Citizenship and History can be seen as natural partners – this was confirmed by Sir Bernard Crick, the founding father of the modern Citizenship education movement in England:
" My personal view, that I have had to be a little bit discreet about at times, is that of all the other subjects History may have (should have) overall the greatest role to playSeeley