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The Need of Citizenship Education

By Deborah Subscribe to RSS | August 8th 2012 | Views:

Citizenship is about the empowerment of young people. It is about building

their sense of being able to influence and impact the world around them – challenging and changing the institutions that govern them. We need to ensure that all our children and young people have the knowledge and skills to embrace issues of diversity and citizenship to thrive in the community. They also need to be a positive power for good in shaping the future of a cohesive UK society in the 21st century – to make our country an even better place to live.

We aim at no less than a change in the political culture of this country. For people to think of themselves as active citizens, willing, able and equipped to have an influence in public life.” The Crick Report, 1998. Citizenship, Diversity, Identity and Equality’ provides a framework for citizenship education within the contexts of cultural diversity, showing how human rights principles challenge inequality, discrimination and exclusion. It supports young people in developing confident identities in the contexts of cultural diversity and compares British cultural social & work values with other nations.

Engaging pupils in controversial but deeply relevant issues will excite and involve them while developing their thinking skills. This talk explores ways of making the topic of citizenship relevant in the classroom by focusing on questions such as:

- Do we, as individuals and as a nation, respect each others differences and

build on commonalities?

- Do we appreciate our own and others’ distinct identities?

- Do we really have an understanding of what it is to be a citizen,

of how it is to live in the UK?

With cultural games and relevant discussions we can engender wonder and curiosity about difference, build upon historical and world influences, and engage students in identifying different value-sets. There are different workshops that support young people in developing confident identities in contexts of cultural diversity.

- critical thinking about ethnicity, religion and race

- an explicit link to political issues and values

- Developing contemporary issues relating to citizenship

- Exploring the concept of Culture

- Understanding the British values of Individuality and Equality

- Comparing British social and work values with other nations

- Contextualized understanding

- Immigration

- Commonwealth and the legacy of Empire

- European union

- Other global issues outside of our immediate world, e.g. the global economy

Every school should be actively engaged in nurturing the skills of its pupils to participate in an active and inclusive democracy, appreciating and understanding difference. This talk shows how to explore the issues of Citizenship in the contexts of cultural diversity to help you support the ‘Every Child Matters’ agenda. Learning about Citizenship is about learning for life; ensuring that in adulthood pupils will be able to cope with social mobility, armed with the social skills that will help them flourish. This can be beneficial in many ways.

For more info on Cross Cultural Diversity and Citizenship Education, visit

Deborah - About Author:
Deborah Swallow, keynote speaker on cultural diversity provides a framework for citizenship education supporting young people in developing confident identities in British Culture.

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