London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Experiences of citizenship education at school and perspectives on citizenship amongst social science undergraduates

Author(s) Watt, P., Gifford, C., Koster, S.  
Publisher CiCe Publications  
Year 2006  
Editor A. Ross, Citizenship Education: Europe and the World  
Language English  
Age group -  
What are young people’s views of citizenship education in the UK? This paper surveys social science undergraduates previous experiences of citizenship education and their attitudes towards and practices of citizenship. There was a widespread view that learning about citizenship was fairly interesting and some students indicated that it could be challenging and allowed them to express opinions. Several students also stressed inadequate teaching. Asked to define citizenship, many didn’t know or were vague. Others stressed issues of rights and responsibilities and active citizenship seemed important, but not formal political processes. Young students generally are far from politically inert or apathetic, as is commonly suggested. Moreover, these social science undergraduates also seem more engaged than studies of young people generally indicate.

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