London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Is it really necessary to train teachers to teach civic education?

Author(s) Mojca Pecek  
Publisher CiCe Publications  
Year 2000  
Editor Alistair Ross, Curricula for Citizenship in Europe  
Language English  
Age group -  
This paper is based on a belief that training individuals to become active citizens is a duty and obligation of every democracy. Such an awareness has a long tradition in Slovenia. In the primary school curriculum, beside all the subjects where civic education is a 'by-product', there stands a subject with knowledge acquisition and skill development for independent and responsible public activities at its core. It is a subject, in fact, which teaches and systematically guides pupils to become citizens. The attention paid to the subject, though, is not paid to training teachers to teach it. This is actually the only subject in primary school that can be taught without any special training, as there is no such training available in Slovenia as yet. It looks like there is no need to possess any specific knowledge to teach civic education, all one needs is a feel for kids and problems in society. This marginalises the subject despite all public declarations in its support. Teachers often view teaching civic education as a burden and pupils see it as a lesser subject. In order to overcome this situation and put teachers who teach it in a better position, the Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana, is currently designing a training programme for civic education teachers. The aim of this paper is to present some questions arising from teaching civic education in Slovenia, as well as to outline the key points we use in designing the new teacher training programme.

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