Annabelle Dixon on new materials designed to teach citizenship.
Hampshire's education department (with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, schools, teachers and citizenship organisations) has set out to demystify citizenship education. The council presents suggestions for planning, managing and teaching the subject in a ring-binder that is divided into colour-coded sections. Teachers will be grateful for the clear layout of these guidelines.
They encompass social and moral responsibility, community involvement and political literacy. The importance of the community is stressed, starting with the family in the early years, and suggestions are made for parental involvement, which is seen as crucial. The secondary section emphasises cross-curricular and community work and the European dimension. There is also a useful section with addresses and contacts and the chance for teachers to give feedback.
Overall there is a rather regrettable use of the moral imperative, and the confusion between learning outcomes and learning objectives sometimes detracts from an otherwise laudable programme. Level descriptions might have presented a less hectoring, more user-friendly approach while still encouraging teachers to aim high. Publishers' contact details would also assist an otherwise thoughtful book list.