Citizenship education north and south: learning and progression (CENSLP) - final project report

Project report


Jerome, L. and Lalor, J. 2016. Citizenship education north and south: learning and progression (CENSLP) - final project report. SCOTENS.
TypeProject report
TitleCitizenship education north and south: learning and progression (CENSLP) - final project report
AuthorsJerome, L. and Lalor, J.
Abstract

Understanding our subjects and the nature of subject knowledge and progression in learning are essential aspects of initial teacher education (ITE) but, in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, as in most areas, models of Citizenship Education (CE) are heavily dependent on the official definitions of citizenship developed by curriculum officials, with varying levels of political control and teacher consultation. Whilst there are networks of teachers bringing together CE teachers (for example the Five Nations network funded by the Gordon Cook Foundation) there has been little work developed by teachers to identify a comprehensive model of what it is that CE teachers actually do in the classroom and what young people do (and should) learn in the subject. We believe this makes CE particularly vulnerable to political influence and that it can become a repository for wider social policy concerns. Whilst there is always a need to identify a form of CE that suits the context in which it is being taught, this must be balanced by a more informed sense of what the core of the subject entails and how young people actually learn citizenship.
In other comparable subjects there have been teacher-led initiatives in the past such as the Humanities Curriculum Project (Stenhouse, 1983), and project CHATA (Lee & Ashby, 1987), which identify key concepts, skills, questions and areas of factual knowledge that together comprise the ‘subject lens’ that young people can apply to think about the world from a particular perspective. This project begins to develop such a model for CE, focusing on what is distinctive about seeing the world as a citizen, and thus developing a clear model for how teachers structure their teaching and how young people learn in CE. This will facilitate a discussion about attainment and progression within the subject as a school subject, and help to further distinguish CE from citizenship, as a political construct.
This small project, supported by SCOTENS, set out to generate a working model to underpin a larger scale research project, and as such it has allowed us to pilot a methodology and yield some initial working models for conceptual and skills progression. Whilst we do not claim to have discovered a universal model of progression in conceptual learning, we hope to have illustrated the value of thinking seriously about subject knowledge in CE and the complexities involved in asking students to use abstract concepts to think about citizenship.

PublisherSCOTENS
Publication process dates
Deposited21 Apr 2016
Submitted29 Feb 2016
Output statusPublished
LanguageEnglish
First submitted version
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