All have a part to play

20th October 2000 at 01:00
IN response to Gavin Clark's letter (TESS, October 6) I should like to add to the debate about citizenship education. As a teacher of modern studies I agree that it has a part to play in education for citizenship but only a part. Education for citizenship must not be seen as political literacy or knowledge about social issues.

Rather it must be seen as something much more important. There should be involvement in the affective domain as well as the cognitive domain. There must be the developing of values and the preparation for and actual involvement in community at local, national and global levels.

In addition to modern studies there is a vital part to be played by geography (I teah this as well), by history (I have taught this), by social education (and this!), by modern languages, by maths et al.

The reality is that teachers teach children and as part of this all teachers help prepare pupils for citizenship - nursery, primary, secondary, tertiary.

If education for citizenship is to be a priority (I think it always has been just not the "flavour of the month", as it is now with politicians) then it is exactly that we must strive for, argue for, campaign for.

It must not be seen as an argument for individual subjects. This surely shows a narrowness of vision which education for citizenship stands against.

John Tracey

Fortrose Academy

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