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Citizenship in Primary Schools
Transcript of Citizenship in Primary Schools
Why should schools teach citizenship?
What should schools do?
What kind of society are children growing up in?
What kind of world are children growing up in?
What kind of schools are children growing up in?
Education is POLITICAL
Respect children's rights
Promote student voice
Select teaching content
"education either functions as an instrument which is used to… bring about conformity... or it becomes the ‘practice of freedom’, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world” (Shaull's foreword to Freire, 1996: 16).
Freire lists some of the characteristics of ‘banking education’:
•The teacher teaches and the students are taught,
•The teacher talks and the students listen,
•The teacher disciplines and the students are disciplined,
•The teacher acts and the students have the illusion of acting through the action of the teacher,
•The teacher confuses the authority of knowledge with his or her own professional authority, which she and he sets in opposition to the freedom of the students (Freire, 1996: 54).
Decisions about pedagogy can be based on learning theory and research and on ethical considerations:
•Dignity and Security (Art. 19, 23,28, 29) – an environment free of bullying, intimidation and mockery and teachers who nurture respectful relationships.
•Participation (Art. 12, 13, 14, 15, 31) – opportunities for learners to exercise choice and responsibility in their learning and teachers who consult about learning and promote learners’ autonomy.
•Identity and inclusivity (Art. 2, 7, 8, 16, 23, 28, 29, 31) – respect for children’s (multiple / hybrid) identities and the communities they belong to.
•Freedom (Art. 12, 13,14, 15) – classrooms which allow for maximum freedom of expression and conscience, but which have limitations to protect the freedom, security and dignity of all. Teachers who encourage and facilitate dialogue.
•Access to information (Art. 17) – opportunities to engage with a range of information and teachers who nurture the skills of critical interpretation. This is essential if learners are to have the opportunity to develop their own opinions.
•Privacy (Art. 16) – teachers should consider the purpose and the context if they seek information about the private lives of children.
Osler, A. and H. Starkey (2005) Changing Citizenship: Democracy and Inclusion in Education, Maidenhead: Open University Press
“Schools’ own evaluations, Unicef RRSA reports and Ofsted inspections are now indicating higher levels of oracy, literacy (especially writing), personal development and well being in schools where rights based approaches are embedded as a whole school philosophy. It makes the difference between a school being judged ‘outstanding’ rather than ‘good’.”
(Rights Respecting Schools available at: www3.hants.gov.uk/education/childrensrights/)
“Teachers said that it reminded them that their day-to-day interactions with children really do have the potential to improve society and that they can do so much more than get children through their tests” (Covell & Howe, 2005: 4).
“Children who are taught about their contemporaneous rights and responsibilities in classrooms and in schools that respect those rights by allowing meaningful participation are children who display moral and socially responsible behaviours and feel empowered to act” (Covell et al., 2008: 323).
"I think I'm going to get low marks in my English and my family is going to say "I am useless and I don't learn anything". It's upsetting because I really try hard"
"People sometimes don't come to school because they know they will get a lower mark. Sometimes you get scared and you pretend that you are ill. When we did a science test I did that once."
Bob Jeffrey (2001) Valuing primary students' perspectives, Paper presented at the European Conference on Educational Research, Lille, 5-8 September 2001
Lundy (2007) has contributed to extending our critical appreciation of Article 12 by revisiting the distinction between ‘having a voice’ and ‘being heard’. She addresses the four stages required to realise the right, (i) creating opportunities in which young people can develop an opinion and express it,
(ii) expressing their opinions,
(iii) having someone listen to them, and
(iv) having their views taken into account.
Lundy, L. (2007) ‘Voice is not enough: conceptualising Article 12 of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child’ British Educational Research Journal 33 (6) 927-942