Citizenship through Secondary History

By James Arthur; Ian Davies et al. | Go to book overview

Series editor's preface

The editors and authors of the books in this series share the conviction that all teachers who are concerned with the integrity of the education they provide need to take an interest in the relationships between citizenship education and the rest of the school curriculum. Citizenship and citizenship education are highly contested concepts. Historically, they have been appropriated by politicians and educators at every point in the political spectrum, to promote local, regional, national, international or global agendas, and social, cultural, political or commercial interests. The extent to which the citizen's role is constructed as active or passive, radical or conservative, communitarian or individualistic varies in every definition. Correspondingly, different versions of citizenship education place varying degrees of emphasis on civil rights and responsibilities, on compliance with and challenges to authority, and on participation in and critique of dominant practices in society. All citizenship education teachers need to consider where the curriculum and pedagogy they adopt places their teaching and their pupils' learning in this contested field. One aim of this series is to contribute to the development of teachers' awareness of how their citizenship education teaching is positioned.

In addition, the series is concerned with the fact that the version or versions of citizenship education taught in particular classrooms, schools, regions and nations will inevitably present pupils with messages which are held in tension with those they learn from other curriculum subjects, from the hidden curriculum, and from their broader social and cultural education in and beyond school. Where citizenship education is taught entirely as a discrete subject, unless (and perhaps even if) it is completely trivialised, its explicit presence in the curriculum will still influence pupils' perceptions of subjects which purport to explore any aspect of the social contexts of the knowledge, understandings, skills and experience with which they are concerned. Moreover, what is taught and learned in these subjects, and indeed what is not taught and learned, will influence pupils' experience of citizenship education. The books in this series consequently invite an assessment of the tensions that will exist in the curriculum in schools which choose to teach citizenship education discretely. However, they are also concerned, more ambitiously, to encourage schools, departments and individual teachers to seek out the ways in which citizenship education can be productively integrated with other parts of the curriculum, to redefine and enrich pupils' experience of both citizenship education and those other subjects.

-xiii-

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