London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Language, Culture and Identity: Using rights as a theme for cross-curricular collaboration between Citizenship and Modern Languages teachers

Author(s) Bhargava, M. & Smith, R.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2010  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell, Lifelong Learning and Active Citizenship  
Age group -  
This paper considers how two teacher educators have approached the embedding of the principles of children’s rights into our teacher education programme at London Metropolitan University. We will explore how the focus of a Rights Respecting Teacher Education Programme has impacted on our own practice through a cross-curricular collaboration with training teachers. This collaboration involved Citizenship and Modern Languages student teachers preparing and delivering workshops on human rights to approximately one hundred 16-17 year olds at a London secondary school in January 2010. We will explore the reasons for engaging in this particular collaboration, before analysing some of the difficulties the student teachers found. We argue that strong association by student teachers with a subject ‘identity’ is inevitable given the nature of the English National Curriculum and is desirable. However, as we suggest, this can have a detrimental impact on meaningful collaboration and the learning experience of young people when teachers are unable to recognise the different contributions that other subject areas can make in areas such as human rights education.

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