London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Citizenship education - what do student teachers need to know?

Author(s) Helen Lawson and Kate Edmonds  
Publisher CiCe Publications  
Year 2001  
Editor A. Ross, Learning for Democratic Europe  
Language English  
Age group -  
From September 2002, for the first time in its history, citizenship education is to become statutory in England and Wales at Key Stages 3 (11-14 year olds) and 4 (14-16 year olds). It is therefore imperative that a coherent approach is developed for the provision of teacher training in this area. In the School of Education at the University of Nottingham, individual tutors were beginning to explore elements of citizenship with their students. However, a strategy to incorporate it across the course was not planned. MUNDI, as a development education centre based at the university, was already running workshops in schools exploring elements of citizenship with pupils, developing projects focusing on the global dimension of citizenship, and providing in-service training for teachers. MUNDI felt they were in a strong position to work together with the university to explore citizenship and citizenship education issues with staff and students. The first stage was to administer questionnaires to students to find out how they understood citizenship. The questionnaire was followed up by discussion with students during which they were given the opportunity to discuss their thoughts and begin to analyse the values and attitudes which underpinned their ideas. We were interested to find out whether their ideas about citizenship education resonated with government understandings of the role and purpose of citizenship education, whether they were based on their own experiences of citizenship education at school and whether there was much congruence was between students' ideas.

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