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Citizenship education

Citizenship education

This page contains the findings of systematic reviews undertaken by review groups linked to the EPPI-Centre

Pedagogy
Curriculum
Students' life experiences
School strategy
Teacher development
References

Pedagogy

  • The quality of dialogue and discourse is central to learning in citizenship education; these are connected with learning about shared values, human rights and issues of justice and equality. A facilitative, conversational pedagogy may challenge existing power/ authority structures; transformative, dialogical and participatory pedagogies complement and sustain achievement rather than divert attention from it. Such pedagogies require a quality of teacher-pupil relationships that is inclusive and respectful.[1],[2]
  • Such pedagogies can enhance students' learning, achievement and communication skills, including higher-order cognitive and intellectual achievements and meta-cognitive processes. They can result in a move from concrete literal thinking to abstract and scientific thinking, resulting in higher levels of reflection.[2]
  • Listening to the voice of the student leads to positive relationships, an atmosphere of trust and increased participation. It may require many teachers to 'let go of control'.[1],[2]
  • Such pedagogies may empower students, leading to increased self-confidence, more positive self-concept and greater self-reliance; they can engage learners as whole persons and may result in teachers relating differently to students.[2]

Curriculum

  • Citizenship education can be applied to most areas of the curriculum through the development of learner-centred teaching and meaningful curricula.[2] Opportunities should be made for students to engage with values issues embedded in all curriculum subjects and experiences.[1]

Students' life experiences

  • Students should be empowered to voice their views and to name and make meaning from their life experiences.[1],[2]
  • Engagement of students in citizenship education requires educational experiences that are challenging, attainable and relevant to students' lives and narratives.[1] This may also lead to greater participation in classes.[2]
  • Contextual knowledge and problem-based thinking can lead to (citizenship) engagement and action.[1]

School strategy

  • A coherent whole-school strategy, including a community-owned values framework, is a key part of leadership for citizenship education.[1]
  • Participative and democratic processes in school leadership require particular attitudes and skills on the part of teachers and students.[2] Strategies for consensual change have to be identified by, and developed in, educational leaders.[1]
  • Schools often restrict participation by students in shaping institutional practices but expect them to adhere to policies, and this can be counterproductive to the core messages of citizenship education.[1]

Teacher development

  • Teachers require support to develop appropriate professional skills to engage in discourse and dialogue to facilitate citizenship education.[1],[2]

References

1. A systematic review of the impact of citizenship education on the provision of schooling  (2004)

2. A systematic review of the impact of citizenship education on student learning and achievement  (2005)

  
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