London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Is teaching history actually aiming at citizenship?

Author(s) Nicole Tutiaux-Guiillon  
Publisher CiCe Publications  
Year 2002  
Editor Future Citizens in Europe Ed. Alistair Ross  
Language English  
Age group -  
In France, since the end of the 19th century, history is taught in primary school as a support for collective identity and citizenship. The same aims are assigned to history in the secondary school, from 1902, all the more because there is no civic education in secondary school during most of the century, and none in upper secondary school before 20001. If we read the present official texts framing history and geography teaching2, we found the same goals, the same from 8 to 18 years old pupils, and mainly the same as during the Third Republic: (I translate) 'the civic aims have been defined in the introduction to the curriculum of primary school: ?understanding the present world and acting on it as a free and responsible individual, being actively present in politics, require the knowledge of the world, of its diversity and evolution. The curricula in collège as in lycée have no other prospects.'3 I will not in this paper discuss the evolution of the meaning of 'citizenship' during the century, even if is actually a controversial issue nowadays in France. I would like to focus attention on what the teachers do with and for such goals. I will for this take in account some researches either directed in the INRP (national institute for pedagogical research) or in the IUFM of Lyon.

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