Business and Economics Education and Citizenship: A Guide for Heads of Departments

By Williams, Steve | Teaching Business & Economics, Autumn 2000 | Go to article overview

Business and Economics Education and Citizenship: A Guide for Heads of Departments


Williams, Steve, Teaching Business & Economics


PLANS FOR CITIZENSHIP IN THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM

From September 2002, citizenship will be a statutory part of the National Curriculum.

At key stages I and 2, there is non-statutory framework for personal, social and health education and citizenship (PSHE). Amongst other things, this requires pupils to learn about 'the wider world and the interdependence of communities within it':

They develop further their sense of social and moral responsibility and begin to understand the effects of their own choices and behaviour in relation to some of the main local, national or global issues and the political and social institutions that affect their lives. They learn how to participate more fully in school and community activities.'

(The Review of the National Curriculum in England: The Secretary of State's proposals)

At key stages 3 and 4, there is a non-statutory framework for PSHE, but a programme of study and an attainment target for citizenship. Citizenship is described as a 'new foundation subject' and it has been accorded a notional 5% of curriculum time at key stages 3 and 4.

WHAT IS CITIZENSHIP?

According to the final report of the Advisory Group on Citizenship, there now exists an opportunity for a 'highly educated 'citizen democracy", building on European political traditions.

TH. Marshall in his book 'Citizenship' (1950), saw three elements: the civil, the political and the social. This was taken as the starting point for the report of the Commission on Citizenship , appointed by the then Speaker of the House of Commons, Encouraging Citizenship' (1990).

Active citizens are as political as they are moral; moral sensibility derives in part from political understanding; political apathy spawns moral apathy.'

Prof David Hargreaves, The Mosaic of Learning (DEMOS)

'We believe that citizenship has a clear conceptual core which relates to the induction of young people into the legal, moral and political arena of public life. It introduces pupils to society and its constituent elements, and shows how they, as individuals, relate to the whole. Besides understanding, citizenship education should foster respect for law, justice, democracy and nurture common good at the same time as encouraging independence of thought. It should develop skills of reflection, enquiry and debate.'

Citizenship Foundation, Submission in response to the White Paper: Excellence in Schools

The British Youth Council provided a comprehensive resume of its view of citizenship education in its submission to the Advisory Group on Citizenship under the Chairmanship of Professor Bernard Crick. This was quoted in full in the final report of the Advisory Group on Citizenship. It opened with the statement that: 'The curriculum should address issues such as democracy, community, society and citizenship' and included reference to understanding representative democracy, the rights and responsibilities of citizens, and awareness of community and cultural diversity and social exclusion. It argued that: 'The curriculum should enable children and young people to explore and understand key questions, moral problems and issues that concern society.' It proposed that:

'The Curriculum should also cover practical skills that enable young people to participate effectively in public life and prepare them to be full citizens. It should enable children and young people to develop discussion, communication and teamwork skills. It should help them learn to argue cogently and effectively, negotiate successfully and co-operate with others. It should also enable them to think for themselves, solve problems and make decisions effectively.'

British Youth Council, Submission to the Advisory Group on Citizenship: quoted in the final report of the Advisory Group 'Education for citizenship and the teaching of democracy in schools' (Sept 1998)

It is now widely accepted that there are three strands of citizenship:

social and moral responsibility

community involvement

political literacy. …

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Business and Economics Education and Citizenship: A Guide for Heads of Departments
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