Citizens crusade;Opinion

8th May 1998 at 01:00
The British do not tend to think of themselves as "UK citizens" - except when they are shuffling towards an airport's passport inspection desk in their flip-flops and beachwear. Citizenship is a concept that the French and Americans may have embraced, but it is alien to us. Perhaps that helps to explain why the periodic attempts to establish school citizenship classes have generally failed.

Most recently, schools were asked to adopt education for citizenship as one of five cross-curricular themes; but less than 20 per cent are thought to have heeded this advice. As researchers have noted, the history of education for citizenship in England is a curious mixture of noble intentions, which become general pronouncements, which, in turn, are translated into minimal guidance for schools.

This pattern may be about to change now that the Government has indicated that this topic should receive much more attention (see page 3). But the old stumbling-blocks remain: pupils' low interest in many citizenship issues, teachers' understandable reluctance to touch anything that could be construed as indoctrination, and a lack of suitably trained teachers. Citizen Blunkett will need to be patient and determined.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now