A different agenda

7th December 2007 at 00:00

The effectiveness of citizenship and enterprise education is being undermined by the "persistence of neo-liberal and neo-capitalist agendas", it has been claimed.

School-based case studies by Strathclyde University researcher Ross Deuchar underlined the many potential benefits of citizenship and enterprise in the classroom. Pupils developed a sense of community welfare, tolerance and political literacy, and their general motivation at school improved.

But Dr Deuchar warns against a "narrow" approach to enterprise and citizenship, which he links to international research suggesting that neo- liberal and neo-capitalist values "continue to influence educational practice".

"Narrow" citizenship, for example, might concentrate on local and national perspectives, whereas global perspectives should also be encompassed; it would see pupils merely taught about democracy, whereas they should be enacting the principles of democracy.

"Narrow" enterprise might prioritise business entrepreneurship over social entrepreneurship; it might also pit individualism against collectivism, rather than looking at how the two can operate simultaneously.

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