Curriculum council ordered to put citizenship 'on the map';News;News amp; Opinion

12th November 1999 at 00:00
Scotland's devolved system of government is likely to produce its own solution to citizenship education, now heading for compulsory status in the national curriculum south of the border.

Sam Galbraith, Children and Education Minister, has invited the Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum to hold a "mapping exercise" to identify links between subjects and the broad area of citizenship education.

Mr Galbraith told the Modern Studies Association's conference in Glasgow last weekend that the curriculum council will also develop a national statement.

"We need a comprehensive and structured approach to education for citizenship to enable our children and young people to become more aware of the benefits that acting as citizens can bring to themselves and the people around them," he said.

Outlining possible approaches, Mr Galbraith suggested that subject teachers should collaborate with colleagues from different departments to develop a multidisciplinary approach. This would allow them to pool resources and consider new approaches to the subjects they teach.

Meanwhile Bernard Crick, the Edinburgh-based professor who chaired the advisory committee in England on citizenship education, has joined the debate to criticise the Scottish approach.

Writing in this week's TES Scotland (Opinion, page 19), Professor Crick argues that the mapping exercise "won't yield anything coherent like a curriculum, only (in some cases) pretty desperate attempts to show that in bits and pieces something is already being done".

He points out that modern studies is only taken by around a fifth of pupils and that Scotland needs to re-examine its stance.

Mr Galbraith emphasised the significance of modern studies but said that other curriculum areas such as English, personal and social development, and religious and moral education were equally important.

In England, ministers are keen to introduce a compulsory entitlement to citizenship education at all stages in the national curriculum, encompassing political literacy, values education and voluntary work.

Citizenship plea, page 12

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