CITIZENSHIP: on paperand on line. Activity pack and website. www.citizen21.org.uk. Charter 88.
As any teacher delivering the national literacy or numeracy strategy knows, new teaching initiatives require resources. Moreover, resource producers, whether professional publishers or local practitioner groups, get them right only after a period of trial and error. So the launch of the Charter 88 website and associated teaching pack is a welcome initiative, arriving more than two years before citizenship becomes a foundation subject in 2002.
The pack offers a series of activity sheets, each with a quiz, a reading list and an exercise based around "sweeping statements". Each sheet addresses a key Charter 88 objective or concern - parliamentary reform, regional government, freedom of information, a bill of rights. They offer useful information and baseline exercises with which to initiate classroom activity.
The website's potential is far greaer. It offers a free interactive forum that promises regular updates and downloadable activities, access to educational videos, CD-Roms, books and games, and a direct link to the 500-page Charter 88 site. It also invites teachers and learners to contribute to the site's development by suggesting a link or event that might support citizenship education.
This encourages the sort of resource and knowledge sharing that ought to be at the heart of citizenship provision, - and of citizenship itself - and would benefit the wider curriculum. Further, the site's early launch enables teachers to pilot activities that may later form part of a comprehensive citizenship programme.
Tony Breslin is general adviser(14-19 education) in the London Borough of Enfield and co-ordinator of the Future Education Network. A pound;5 contribution is requested to cover postage for the activity pack available from Charter 88, 16-24 Underwood Street,London N1 7JQ