TEACHING strategy flexibility response timing opposition rights proposition facts “ argument is at the heart of citizenship
Also inside this issue — Palestine & Israel / page 16 Cultural differences / page 18 Parliamentary formats / page 20
Issue No 33 Summer 2012
teamwork style logic listening preparation structure role play that’s
———— DEBATABLE ———— !
Planning assessment / page 27 Citizenship in fe / page 30 Multicultural democracies / p 32 Reviews, resources and more...
Journal of the Association for Citizenship Teaching www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
‘Rights & Responsibilities’ National Citizenship Education Conference 2012 Tuesday 3 July 2012 9.30 am – 4.00 pm University of London Union Malet Street, London WC1 To find out more and book your place, see: www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk/events or www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/1922308677
Theme: Debate 04 Editorial Debate at the heart of citizenship by Harold Raitt & Andrew McCallum 08 Introducing debate in the citizenship classroom Debbie Newman suggests effective debate formats 10 Key aspects of debate Various authors on significant elements of debate 14 “This House believes that debating is the best mechanism for teaching Citizenship” A debate with Andrew Fitch v Anna Liddle 16 16 Debating in a conflict zone Andrew McCallum on Palestine and Israel 18 Cultural differences and debating How identity shapes debating conventions by Alfred C Snider 20 Parliamentary debate in different countries Harold Raitt on how formats impact the conduct of debate Lesson Plans 22 Parliamentary debates in London, Edinburgh and Berlin A medium term plan about the relationship between style and substance by Harold Raitt 25 Useful debating links Key web destinations to support your teaching
Features & Research 27 Assessing Citizenship is easier when you’ve planned for it Marcus Bhargava & Liz Moorse respond to Lorellie Canning’s article 30 A decade of progress under threat Rob Pope reports on the uncertainties faced by citizenship in FE 32 Teaching for citizenship in multicultural democracies Investigation of changes in Europe by Carole L Hahn Reviews, Resources & Regulars 32 26 Diary of a debate debutante (part three) Trisha Manktelow puts her society to the test 36 Pros and Cons: A debater’s handbook 37 Vegetarianism: A Project Book For Schools Reviews by Lee Jerome 38 ACTually... rights and responsibilities by Lee Jerome Published by the Association for Citizenship Teaching, 63 Gee Street, London ec1v 3rs Email email@example.com | Telephone +44 (0)20 7253 0051 (note new number!) © 2012 Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT) ISSN 1474-9335 No part of this publication may be reproduced, copied
or transmitted in any form or by any means without the permission of the publisher. Teaching Citizenship is the official journal of ACT.
Editorial notes Talk is at the heart of many of the most effective Citizenship classrooms and in this edition we explore one specific way in which talk can be structured, scaffolded and promoted through Citizenship. Our guest editors, Harold Raitt and Andrew McCallum, have pulled together a fascinating series of articles and teaching ideas which explore debate as a powerful teaching and learning strategy. I would like to thank them for a thought-provoking edition, and of course to thank Tricia Manktelow for the final instalment of her debate diary – I hope between them they inspire readers to do more debating. Elsewhere in the journal Rob Pope reviews the situation in FE, Carole Hahn reports on her comparative work in Europe, and Marcus Bhargava and Liz Moorse respond to Lorrellei Canning’s recent article on assessment. I hope you find plenty to stimulate debate here, and of course I hope that many of you will join us for ACT’s forthcoming annual conference where the debates continue. Lee Jerome, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Design notes – call for entries Since our relaunch last Autumn the quality of writing in Teaching Citizenship has gone from strength to strength. Sourcing excellent images to illustrate this content appropriately can sometimes be challenging, however. Are you a budding photographer or illustrator with experience or interest in education? Do you know anyone who is? Would you like to get your work published? If so, get in touch! Lionel Openshaw, Design & Production Editor email@example.com The views expressed in signed articles do not necessarily represent those of ACT, and we cannot accept responsibility for any products
or services advertised within the journal. Printed and distributed by Premier Print Group: www.premier printgroup.com.
www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Summer 2012 / Issue 33 / Teaching Citizenship / 3
Andrew McCallum is Senior Lecturer in Education at London Metropolitan University, and author of The Complete Citizenship Resource File. Harold Raitt has worked in education departments at the English-Speaking Union and National Theatre and is now Director of Johannes Factotum & Friends a group of inter-disciplinary arts, media and education experts: www.johannesfactotum.com.
‘This House believes that debate lies at the heart of citizenship education’ This edition focuses on the importance of using debate in citizenship education, as outlined by guest editors Harold Raitt and Andrew McCallum. s guest editors we support this motion. A good ‘First Proposition’ speaker always starts by defining the motion, so we must specify what we mean by debate for the purposes of this issue. Is it simply discussing the relative merits of different points of view? This happens everyday in every classroom, playground and living room, and seems a weak definition, especially viewed against the National Curriculum’s Key Process 2.2a to use ‘formal debate’ from KS3 onwards. What is a formal debate? The BBC’s Question Time is a popular format with a standard set of procedures. So are some discussions on Newsnight. But we have chosen (as a First Proposition speaker would just be within his or her rights to do) to focus even more closely on ‘formal parliamentary debate’ as such formats have obvious relevance to the politically-focused aspects of Citizenship. That is not to say that we ignore alternative perspectives. Such an approach would place us outside
the remit of formal debate itself, whereby every proposition must have an opposition. Some of the connotations of formal parliamentary debate place it at odds with the egalitarian principles of Citizenship teaching: namely that it is deeply rooted in the public school and Oxbridge tradition, with a focus on high-achieving students. However, the current reality on the ground challenges such notions. There are, for example, numerous cases of fantastic practice in schools in areas of social disadvantage. This is partly due to the impact of debating organisations working alongside such schools, but it is largely due to committed teachers using parliamentary debate as a valuable pedagogical strategy, both to promote knowledge and understanding of Citizenship issues and to give students the skills to explore them. Our focus, then, is very much on debate as it relates to actual classroom practice. Debbie Newman gets us started by outlining how to introduce debate into the Citizenship classroom. Of most use to the uninitiated, her article still contains new ideas for the more experienced. It is followed by an ambitious attempt to outline the key elements that need to be considered when using debate in any context; in Citizenship, in other National Curriculum subjects,
4 / Teaching Citizenship / Issue 33 / Summer 2012 / www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
or as part of an extra-curricular activity. ‘Key aspects of debate’ draws on the ideas and expertise of a panel of some of the UK’s leading debate educators. Proceedings are then livened up with the reproduction of an email exchange on the motion: “This House believes that debating is the best mechanism for teaching Citizenship”. Andrew Fitch argues powerfully in favour, while Anna Liddle’s robust response details alternative teaching strategies. The final three articles have an international perspective. Andrew McCallum talks to Jess Dix about her experience of training youth leaders in Palestine and Israel to use debate. They explore how lessons learned there can be transferred to UK classrooms. Alfred C Snider then draws on his experience of training debaters in 38 countries to outline the different approaches of different cultures, before Harold Raitt offers an engaging overview of how parliamentary debate is structured in London, Edinburgh and Berlin. We hope that this issue in some ways stimulates a ‘debate about debate’. We have outlined different elements of formal parliamentary approaches, while freely admitting that alternatives exist that are equally and sometimes more effective. We welcome comments from readers be they supportive, oppositional, or non-partisan. ▪
We hope that this issue in some way stimulates a ‘debate about debate’
age 3 from the RNLI
resource for Key St The new, free teaching
Linked to the Citizenship and PSHE curriculum, On Your Wavelength uses the charity’s lifesaving work as a stimulus for learning. Young people develop the skills to understand and manage risk, find out how to stay safe on and around the water, and learn about volunteering and the role of the RNLI.
Visit rnli.org.uk/wavelength to download or order the teacher’s guide and to access a range of multimedia support material. Find more free educational resources and information about the RNLI’s outreach work at rnli.org.uk/education.
VegSoc-Citizenship-Ad:Layout 1 05/04/2012 16:49 Page 1
Is vegetarianism good for society?
Order free resources from the Vegetarian Society including the new Project Book for Schools designed for Key Stage 3 and 4 project work in a number of subjects, from food technology to citizenship. The Vegetarian Society is an educational charity with a range of free resources and activities for use in the classroom. Visit www.youngveggie.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more. The Vegetarian Society • charity number: 259358 • 0161 925 2000 • email@example.com
Events & News
Compiled by Sheila Clark on behalf of ACT Council. Share info and news about forthcoming events – email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thinking Creatively: Staff changes at ACT North East CPD ACT head office
Children’s Commissioner to open ACT Conference Our national conference for teachers and school leaders takes place on Tuesday 3 July, in London. The Children’s Commissioner will open the conference which provides an opportunity to hear about her role, current legislation and to reflect on what children should be taught about their rights. The rest of the day offers something for all those delivering Citizenship education – whatever their level of teaching experience. There will be a varied programme of workshops presenting ideas that can be taken straight into the classroom the following day. There will also be a marketplace where attendees can see and sample the latest teaching resources. Attendees will also be able to develop skills and ideas, and can attend primary or secondary specific workshops. Other workshops will address the conference theme of rights and responsibilities – and will explore how learning about rights and responsibilities fits into the primary or secondary curriculum and beyond. For full details and booking see www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk.
This day of professional developACT’s Finance & Membership Officer ment, taking place on Wednesday of four years, Anna Amanuel, has 30 May in Peterlee, is titled moved on to pastures new and we The Changing Shape of Citizenship – wish her well. The team in the office Thinking Creatively. Aimed at teachcurrently comprises Millicent Scott, ers delivering Citizenship education Development Manager and Chris at primary or secondary level, it will Waller, Professional Officer. demonstrate how to inspire pupils Keep an eye on the ACT website and improve whole school developfor information about new staff ment through effective Citizenship members joining the team: education. This event is hosted by www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk. ACT North East and is particularly devised to support teachers in northern England. Lunch and a resource pack will be provided. The event will examine how Citizenship contributes to the SMSC aspects of Ofsted, explore how the EBac can be enhanced through Citizenship, and identify how the changes in Citizenship education can benefit your school and pupils
ACT reaches out to Lebanon Starting later in 2012, ACT will be involved in a project developing Citizenship education in Lebanon. The project is being coordinated by the Institute for Education and we will be working closely with them and with the Centre for Lebanese Studies at Cambridge University. ACT’s main role will be reviewing national text books, teacher training, the curriculum, materials and ITT and making recommendations. For further details contact Chris. Waller@teachingcitizenship.org.uk.
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Recruitment drive for new members of the ACT Council The ACT Council aims to have members from across the country acting as representatives for their area and there are still some gaps at present. The Council usually meets three or four times a year. If you feel that you could contribute to the development of ACT’s work and its role in supporting teachers, and are interested in being a Council member, please contact the ACT Office, email: email@example.com or telephone: 020 7253 0051. Alternatively, come and meet some of the Council members at the national conference in the summer or at one of our regional events.
Sheila is a professional trainer, regional subject advisor, ACT Council Member, partner in an educational consultancy business and is involved in the teaching of Citizenship and PSHE at The King Edward VI School, Morpeth, Northumberland.
Questions in Parliament On February 14 Lord Harries of Pentregarth asked the government to clarify their evaluation of current policies on citizenship education. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford) replied: “My Lords, Ofsted reported in 2010 that citizenship education is improving. Our reforms are designed to build on this by giving greater autonomy to schools… Although the expert panel that reported to us in December suggests that Citizenship should form part of the basic curriculum rather than the national curriculum, the first sentence in its report emphasises the importance of Citizenship and I very much share that view. The issue – and this is true of a number of subjects that are subject to the national curriculum review – is the extent to which we need to be prescriptive around programmes of study. We will reflect upon what the expert panel has said and take other representations into account, and then bring forward our proposals in due course in the light of that… We should want every child to be able to study Citizenship. One aspect is the importance of knowing about voting, as my noble friend says, but there are many other benefits of learning about Citizenship as well. The issue is not its importance as a subject but how it is best delivered in the curriculum.”
Peace & protest through music
Heads Up with Hansard
If you’re thinking about how to develop a fun summer event or theme week linked to Citizenship in school and want to build cross-curricular links, then consider World Music Day on June 21st. The aim of this day is “to build peace worldwide by the means of music”. You could explore all sorts of links with human rights, freedom of expression and also take a look at protests happening around the world. There’s a lot of protest music out there! For more info see: www.europeanmusicday.eu.
There’s still time to get involved in the final two debates for this academic year via the Hansard Society’s online debating space ‘HeadsUp’. It’s a great way to raise political awareness in young people and encourage active participation through discussion with their peers, helping them to understand the effect that democratic processes have on their lives. The online forum is carefully moderated by Hansard and is open to all young people between the ages of 11-18. Their viewpoints are shared with their peers and decisionmakers across the country. It also gives politicians a chance to consult with young people and discover their ideas, experiences and what they really think about things. The final two debates for this academic year are: You and Society (April 30 - May 18, 2012); and Olympic and Paralympic Games (June 18 - July 6, 2012). To take part, see: www. hansardsociety.org.uk.
If you want to know more about freedom of expression and music then also check out the Music Freedom website: www. musicfreedomday.org. For lesson plans (for all key stages) with global links and more about protest music, see the Oxfam website: www.oxfam. org.uk/education/resources/ global _ music _ lesson _ plans. Also watch out for ‘Oxjam’ coming up later in the year too. Every October hundreds of amazing Oxjam events happen across the UK organised by anyone and everyone! For more on their ‘secret’ gigs, competitions, advice from industry experts, and to find out how to get involved, check out their website: www.oxfam. org.uk/Oxjam.
Celebrate the right to play! ‘Playday’ (1 August 2012) is the national day for play in the UK, and is a campaign that highlights the importance of play in children’s lives and raises awareness about children’s right to play. Have some fun and find out more at their website: www.playday.org.uk/playday _ campaigns.aspx.
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Introducing debate in the citizenship classroom Effective debate teaching requires a strong knowledge of the format and careful planning, as outlined by Debbie Newman.
the debate, setting it apart from general discussion activities, which might start on one issue and meander into something related or even totally different. An example of a motion might be “This House would Where do debates fit in? ban religious symbols in school” or It is hard to think of a single Citizen- “This House believes that one person ship issue that could not be apcan make a difference to the world”. proached through debate. Should The phrase ‘This House…’ is used we lower the voting age? Do we because debates are modelled on the need quotas for women and ethnic debates in the Houses of Parliament. minorities in parliament, business or Second you need two teams – for universities? Should we support local and against, called Proposition and causes over international ones? Can the Opposition. The teams should young people effect change in their have three speakers each and might communities? All three of the Key also have additional members Concepts in the National Curriculum who are helping to prepare but not Programme of Study for Citizenship speaking in the debate. Sides can be can be explored in this way. Formal selected according to different cridebate is also a Key Process (Advoteria; personally I allocate the sides cacy and Representation 2.2a explic- regardless of their own opinions. itly and 2.2b,c and d implicitly) – it is both the subject’s means and its end. Chair It is possible to start any unit with a debate to introduce issues and get pupils thinking. Equally it can Proposition be used at the end a scheme of work to consolidate and review learning. If teachers select a different group of pupils each time, they can ensure everyone gets a turn throughout the year. Speakers’ contributions can be assessed with the rigour and seriousness of written work, with marks contributing towards overall end-ofyear assessment. If doing examined Citizenship a debate makes an excellent revision lesson. What do you need for a formal debate? First you need a topic, called a motion. This stays the same throughout 8 / Teaching Citizenship / Issue 33 / Summer 2012 / www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
Finally you need a chairperson (who keeps order and calls on the speakers when it is their turn), a timekeeper (who will time the speeches – a good recommendation is three minutes for KS3, four minutes for KS4 and five minutes for KS5) and an audience (the rest of the class and/or another class who will listen, make points in the audience debate and ultimately vote on the motion). When setting up the classroom for a formal debate you need three tables at the front of the room– one in the middle with two chairs for the chairperson and timekeeper, and one on each side with three chairs for the speakers. The tables should be in a V shape to show that the speakers are sparring against each other but hoping to win over the audience.
Debbie Newman is Director of The Noisy Classroom. She is a former Head of Speech & Debate at the English-Speaking Union and has taught English and Citizenship in Southend-on-Sea. For more resources, videos etc see www.noisyclassroom.com.
Speaking order is as follows: First Proposition First Opposition Second Proposition Second Opposition Audience Points Opposition Summary Proposition Summary Apart from the first proposition speaker, everyone is expected to listen and respond to the arguments of the previous speaker. This is called rebuttal. The second speakers on each side should have new arguments rather than repeating their team-mate’s points. The summary speakers respond to the points of the audience and sum up the main arguments in the debate but do not introduce any new ideas. A formal debate is a flexible tool, which can be adapted to suit different ages and class sizes, with adjustments made according to available time and classroom layout. One format is described here which has been shown to be effective in a classroom setting; once you are confident you can shorten speeches, add speakers or tinker in any way which suits your objectives – just remember to keep the same number of speakers and the same overall time for both sides in the interests of fairness. One easy change is to leave out the summary speeches and to finish with a question and answer session between the audience and the speakers instead. More interaction? If you want to further develop the active listening and critical thinking skills of your pupils, introduce points of information. These allow the debaters to try and interrupt the speaker with a piece of rebuttal and therefore incentivise continual close listening. To do this any speaker on the other side should stand up and say “point of information” and wait. The speaker decides whether to say “accepted” or “rejected”. If they
reject, the offerer must sit down quietly. If they accept, the offerer has 5-15 seconds to make their point and then sit down. The speaker should address the point directly before returning to their speech. Points of information are not allowed during the first thirty and last thirty seconds of speeches (the timekeeper should knock at these times) or at any point during the summary speeches. What do the rest of the class do during the debate? Members of the class not involved directly in the debate constitute the audience. They have the opportunity to take part in the audience debate (or you could mandate certain pupils to contribute) and they ultimately vote on the debate. In some classes this is enough but in most situations you will want to incentivise and facilitate greater attention and participation. You could do this in a number of ways including: using peer assessment sheets to enable pupils to judge the debate, or appointing class journalists to write up or present a report of the debate afterwards. You will need to decide whether you want your audience to be silent or whether they are allowed to clap and/or give verbal feedback in the form of “hear, hear” or “shame” and brief them accordingly. Audience participation is often a useful way of maintaining interest and keeping everyone on their toes. Preparing the class for a debate Before debating for the first time, a class needs to be introduced to the format and rules of debate and given support in how to prepare. For any subsequent debates they can prepare themselves either in class or as homework. Pro forma sheets help scaffold the work and encourage a clear structure. Planning should be designed so that debaters can, ultimately, present naturally from notes rather than reading out scripts. ▪
Five steps to preparing a debate Divide the class into four groups (two sets of Proposition and Opposition, speaking on one or two different motions). Step 1: Brainstorm ideas • Individual brainstorm – allow five minutes silent time for this. • Group brainstorm – bring together all the individual ideas. Step 2: Organise ideas • Choose the best points (leave aside any duplicated ones) until you have a list of about six. Give each one a name no longer than three words. • Then divide these arguments between the speakers. The first and second speakers should have three arguments. The summary speaker does not have any new arguments. Step 3: Structure the speeches Each speech should have: 1. Introduction – who are you and what do you stand for? 2. Preview – What are the names of the points you are going to cover? 3. Rebuttal 4. Point One 5. Point Two 6. Point Three 7. Remind the audience of the three points you have covered 8. Vote for us Step 4: Prepare the speeches Arguments should be fleshed out using a structure such as ‘pee’ (Point, Example, Explain) or ‘real’ (Reason, Evidence, Analysis, Link). Step 5: Prepare the rest of class While the main speakers finalise their notes, see ‘What do the rest of the class do?’, above, for ideas.
www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Summer 2012 / Issue 33 / Teaching Citizenship / 9
Key aspects of debate Various contributors highlight the most significant elements that make for a good debate
in a school or university debate to have a better idea. Alternatives suggested by the opposition often confuse and complicate debates, making them less enjoyable for all involved. Proposition It is not always clear how the Proposition is often perceived as proposition will define a motion or the more challenging side in debatwhat arguments they will use, giving ing, requiring speakers to present the opposition very little time to remore positive material and depend spond. It is therefore particularly imless on destroying the other side’s portant to listen carefully and adapt arguments. However, it also presents arguments quickly when speaking in significant opportunities. ‘Prop’ opposition; key skills that apply to all speakers set the scene, defining any positions but which are most useful ambiguous terms in the motion, to an opening opposition speaker. describing the problem they are James Torrance trying to solve and setting out the important issues in the debate. Not Role play only does this give them a measure In formal debates participants are of control over the debate, but it also given the side of a topic that they provides one of the best opportuniwill have to argue. This will often ties to deploy stylish rhetoric to good require them to engage with issues effect; tremendous fun and very they haven’t considered before, or impressive if done well. to argue against the position they James Torrance reached the Quarter personally hold. The old saw about Finals of both the World Championwalking a mile in another man’s ships and European Championships shoes gains new power and impact before graduating from Nottingham when you are being asked to argue University in 2010. He is currently his case from his point of view. This training to be an accountant and is a exercise can change people’s minds mentor for Debate Mate. on issues, giving greater understanding and increased empathy for Opposition those with differing points of view. Opposing a motion is inherently It also forces learners to examine the more destructive than proposing, strength of their own pre-held beliefs but it is not enough just to rebut the and consider why they are held. The proposition’s arguments. The opposi- outcomes of debates on homework tion must explain why the motion is or school punishments can be eyea bad idea, perhaps because it is unopening for students and teachers! ethical or will have negative conseGavin Illsley competed at the highest quences. In this way, the opposition levels both at school and university, and reflect their counterparts in Parliawas European Champion in 2006. He ment. However, unlike in politics, it currently works training debaters, from is not incumbent on the opposition beginners to the international elite. 10 / Teaching Citizenship / Issue 33 / Summer 2012 / www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
Facts Facts are clearly very important in a debate. Knowing what the issues are, how many people are affected, or to what extent, is the difference between a discussion about a problem and a debate about the best solution. Debates challenge students to select useful and relevant facts and help to reinforce the importance of identifying the source of their information as in a debate they will often be challenged on it. It is important to remember though that facts very rarely win or lose a debate. A useful approach with students is to explain that facts are used to “hang their arguments and ideas upon” but they are not the debate itself. A useful training technique is to set a topic and get students to bring in 10 facts from different sources and then have a group discussion about which three they would use and why. Jason Vit is Head of Speech & Debate at the English-Speaking Union.
Logic Logic forms the bedrock of any good, rational debate. Without it we have no tools to show that we’re correct and the other side is wrong. By focusing on logic within an argument we’re forced to analyse deeper what we’re saying. Instead of simply asserting claims, a good debater breaks down each claim, explaining why one follows from another. Eventually we ought to reach something universally accepted that can’t be argued against (eg. murder is wrong). However, we rarely prove things during a debate in the same way that we do in mathematics or science – if we
could prove something definitively, it wouldn’t be a fair or interesting debate. Instead we usually aim to show what will happen or what should happen, relying on the intuition and experience of the audience to show how our arguments are consistent with things we all agree with. Logic allows us to place the stepping stones from axioms we agree with to the claims we use to persuade people. James Dixon is a PhD student in mathematical logic at the University of Manchester, former training director of the Manchester Debating Union and current Debate Mate mentor.
Preparation As I explore in my article on pages 20-24, our politicians have varying lengths of time to prepare for debates; the Chancellor will work for weeks preparing every word of his budget speech, but the Foreign Secretary might have only minutes to prepare a statement on a fastdeveloping situation abroad. So it is with classroom and extra-curricular debates. ‘Long-prep’ debates – with the opportunity to work on a topic in class, take a motion away as homework and consult libraries and the internet – are very appropriate for novice debaters. ‘Short-prep’ debates (ubiquitous at university levels and in extra-curricular schools competitions organised by university societies) require students to speak for up to five minutes with only 15 minutes of preparation. Of course, success at short-prep is based on extensive knowledge of identical or similar topics gained beforehand, either in debates or
through wider research. This also makes it an ideal format for revising topics with exam classes; shorten the prep time to the length of time you suggest students should be using as planning time in the exam hall, and then get them to deliver a speech length roughly equivalent to the length of an average essay. However, experienced debaters should be wary of getting hooked on the adrenalin of only speaking in short-prep debates lest they lose their appreciation for rhetorical finesse and exhaustively researched arguments. On the other hand, asking even absolute beginners to deliver a few sentences extempore can be a useful confidencebuilding tool if backed with a safety net provided by a ‘phone a friend’ or ‘ask the audience’ card. Harold Raitt has worked extensively in developing classroom debating in the UK and abroad.
presented to classes as an obvious fait accompli (necessary for the reasons given above, and desirable because it reduces the amount they have to write down), they will revel in the freedom it gives them. A good training exercise – which also drives home the flexibility point – is to take a point written out in note form and deliver it three times, but with a ‘game-changing’ alteration before each repetition such as “the previous speaker said ...” or “the motion has actually been defined to mean ...”. Harold Raitt
We seldom imagine a person who enjoys debating to be a good listener. Someone who likes the sound of their own voice seems nearer the mark. But the most enjoyable aspects of debating require good listening. To take apart your opponent’s argument, you need first to have listened, Flexibility and then, to have understood it. However long a student prepares for, ‘Flowing’ a debate, as they call a fully written out speech is fatal; it’s it in the trade, is crucial. The delike setting a player’s feet in concrete bater divides their notepaper into a at the beginning of a basketball column for each of the other speakmatch. All debaters should be acers, in which they note that speaker’s cepting Points of Information during arguments. They then draw lines their speeches, yet once they’ve from column to column, tracking the taken one, their answer will have progress of each argument during taken them to a point which might the debate. This will help them idenbe quite far removed from where tify the key issues to engage with and they were before the interruption. rebut. Good debaters will underFurthermore, speakers after the First stand the other team’s arguments as Proposition have no idea of how pre- well as they do their own. ceding speakers will have reshaped Sam Kitchener writes for publications the playing field. such as the Spectator, the Literary ReSpeaking from notes is the only view and the Huffington Post. He was answer. Far from being an inaccesalso a member of the ESU England sible higher-order skill, if this is Schools Debating Team. www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Summer 2012 / Issue 33 / Teaching Citizenship / 11
Theme: Debate Key aspects of debate
Response Responding during a debate is one of the biggest challenges which speakers face. Points of Information (short challenges offered to the person speaking by an opponent) are unpredictable and being able to come up with a spontaneous answer is not easy. One of the best ways to help students prepare is to have a clear simple team-line, in effect expressing the team’s entire case in 1-3 lines. This helps them to be clear on any logical or philosophical challenges. Another useful way to train is to get students to give a speech in practice, while taking a question every 45 seconds. Rebuttal is another area of response; engaging directly with what the previous speaker has said as a part of a speaker’s actual speech. Learning to pick out the key ideas and taking effective notes are skills that develop over time, helped by feedback from judges and audience. Jason Vit
2.Then say it; the ‘substantive’ part of your speech should elaborate on the headings, providing an explanation of what you mean, analysis of why this should be so, and illustration (examples) of how this operates in analogous situations. 3. Tell them you’ve said it; summarise your points briefly so that the audience and judges are left in no doubt about your contribution. Irene McGrath is Head of Academic Administration at the High School of Dundee. Her debating society has produced three World Schools Debating Champions, and she was 2011 Convenor of the World Schools Championships.
Just as parties are central to modern politics, doing well in a debate is all about teamwork. Sharing knowledge in a short-prep debate, or dividing up areas of research in a long-prep one are useful ways for students to learn the value of shared work and cooperation. For the debate itself there are different roles which require different strengths; perhaps clarity for first proposition, or responsiveness for the first opposition. Students quickly recognise that different people are better suited to different roles. As a team they all need to listen to what is being said, so in their own speeches they can help to clarify issues or deal Timing with challenges which have gone unTiming helps speakers keep to their answered. In a classroom context, it planned structure. The further down can be helpful to work in a big group the table you go, the more you will to identify lots of arguments and be rebutting and the less you will be then get teams to work together to introducing new points, until the divide the ideas up. The useful part summary speeches where there is no of the exercise is getting them to exnew material. You could draw up an plain why they’ve divided ideas up in arithmetical table of this – varying a certain way before asking the class Structure according to the style of the debatto suggest any better combinations. For novice debaters, not yet fully ing format you’re using – and make In an extra-curricular context it is confident nor grown into their own yourself stick to it until it becomes useful to keep a team together for a style, adhering to rules of structure automatic. You must also ensure that few debates so they can build a good enables their speech to come across your substantive arguments appear team dynamic. It is important that a more clearly and makes it easier for in your speech before the signal for team should always get any feedback the audience (and judges in a compe- the last (protected) minute; this not together and that after a debate they tition) to understand, so: only conforms to the rule that your should have a short discussion about 1. Tell them what you are going to opponents must have the opportuni- how they did and what they can say; list off your points. This will ty to challenge your points, but also improve upon. force you to think up appropriate forces you to give each point enough Jason Vit labels for them, which will in turn time for it to be properly explained. force you to structure them logically. Irene McGrath 12 / Teaching Citizenship / Issue 33 / Summer 2012 / www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
Strategy Debating is at its heart a game of strategy. In selecting and developing arguments teams must not only show why their arguments are true but why they are the most relevant and important arguments in the debate. They should consider how individual arguments affect the whole case: do they contradict an earlier argument? Do individual arguments flow and combine to form a logical and coherent case? When responding to the opposing side debaters should not respond to every argument, they need only respond to the most relevant and important ones. The most strategically minded team will not just respond to an individual piece of evidence or example, or show an argument to cause more harm than good, they’ll successfully attack the very premise or foundation of an argument. Ben Jasper is a former European debating finalist and has been the Chief Adjudicator at the Oxford Schools Debating Competition and the International Competition for Young Debaters. He is one of the coaches of the ESU England Schools Team’s Development Squad.
to change her voice; a good teacher today need never suggest that a debater has to pretend to be anyone other than his or herself, but making sure they speak clearly and with good variation in pace, tone and volume (appropriate to the subject in hand, where possible) can help their true character shine through. Body language should enhance, not distract; wildly flailing arms distract from the message as much as delivering timidly with a hanging head and shuffling feet. Harold Raitt
mentor for Cardinal Pole RC School. She has previously convened two of the UK’s largest schools debating competitions, and represented the University of Cambridge at the World Universities Debating Championships.
A debater’s right to be heard comes with responsibilities. However, the beauty of debating is that these responsibilities are wonderfully aligned with strategic interests. Debaters have a responsibility to listen to other speakers in a debate, and a responsibility not to talk over them Rights – but it is also very much in their In an argument, people can express interest to do so. How can you rebut disagreements, but they have no another speaker’s argument if you right to be heard – other people can were not listening to what they said? talk over or ignore their opponents. Likewise, speakers have a responsiIn contrast, speakers in a debate bility to be respectful in their speech have a right not only to be heard, but and avoid personally insulting other also to speak, uninterrupted if they speakers – but then it is far more perchoose, for exactly the same length suasive to cleverly demolish the logic of time as their opponents, making of an argument than it is to assert debating fairer than arguing (and another speaker is stupid. Speakers also more pleasant)! are punished for ignoring their reIt is the Chairperson’s job to ensponsibilities by losing debates, and sure speakers’ rights are respected. are rewarded for upholding them by This means stopping those who are winning more often! ▪ not speaking from interrupting other Ashleigh Lamming Style speakers without their consent, talkWhat we say is key, but how we say ing out of turn, or cheering or booing it is absolutely essential to ensuring overly-enthusiastically. The tradithe message isn’t lost on the way to tional way to do this is to bang the Pictured on p.11: Grand Final of the ESU the eyes and the ears of the audience. table (with a gavel, if you have one) London Debate Challenge 2012. One of the most memorable scenes and shout “order” until the errant Above left: ESU Primary London Debate in the recent film The Iron Lady is debaters are quiet. Challenge Final at the Tower of London. Mrs Thatcher receiving coaching Ashleigh Lamming is a Debate Mate Above: Getting your point across. www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Summer 2012 / Issue 33 / Teaching Citizenship / 13
“This House believes that debating is the best mechanism for teaching Citizenship” In a formal debate, pupils are required to argue in favour of positions which they do not fully hold (or indeed, not hold at all). Andrew Fitch and Anna Liddle are both passionate advocates of a wide range of oral approaches to controversial issues, and have been placed by the editors in proposition and opposition of the stronglyworded motion above; form and content both demonstrate the exploratory power of a debate’s oppositional method.
about our society and the wider world, and then support them in exploring different opinions, finally coming to their own decision. Although debate does have its place in the Citizenship classroom, I do not believe that it is the best mechanism for exploring controversial issues, especially when used as a stand-alone technique. Controversial issues are by nature multi-faceted and complex. Formal debate often creates a false dualism, where the issue is artificially segregated into ‘for’ and ‘against’, overlooking the all-important grey area. Students are Andrew Fitch, in proposition required to support one ‘side’ before having There is a whole gamut of tools available to fully explored all the concepts involved. the Citizenship teacher; tools which enable Formal debate can also be more approthe teaching of the curriculum area’s subject priate for some learning styles and personmatter, while also instilling in students its alities over others. Confident students may core values and processes. thrive in a public speaking situation, leaving Of this range of tools, I will argue that shyer ones anxious and withdrawn. Small formal debating is far and away the best. group work and presentation can draw on The first reason that formal debate is the best the abilities of many types of learner, withmedium for the Citizenship teacher relates out creating the potentially hostile and conto the teaching of controversial issues, such frontational environment of a heated debate. as racism, and abortion. These can present a real challenge for the Citizenship teacher; Andrew Fitch, in proposition trying to negotiate between various deeply It is exactly because of shyer and more held beliefs, between the need to discuss reserved students that it is so vital to use them and the fear of upsetting or formal debate. The power games, the sly offending students. put downs, the anxiety of ‘what if no one By using debate in the teaching of agrees with me?’; these are what constrain controversial issues, the Citizenship teacher shy students from getting involved in is able to create a comfortable atmosphere by discussions about controversial issues. allowing the students to distinguish between Formal debate shields them from many of the role they are playing in the debate and these factors. their own deeply held, and often very When given a specific, set speaking order, sensitive beliefs. and length of speaking time, students are both constrained and liberated. Those who Anna Liddle, in opposition would otherwise dominate are, to an extent, There is no doubt that exploring constrained in their ability to influence controversial issues is vital in Citizenship. discussion and to bring the politics of the As Citizenship educators, it is our role to playground into the classroom. Without empower young people with information specific procedures, they might well climb 14 / Teaching Citizenship / Issue 33 / Summer 2012 / www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
Formal debate often creates a false dualism, where the issue is artificially segregated into ‘for’ and ‘against’, overlooking the all-important grey area
In Proposition: Andrew Fitch is an experienced international competitive debater, former education officer at the English-Speaking Union and a Citizenship teacher. In Opposition: Anna Liddle is Peace Education Officer at the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anna Liddle summarises her arguments When given a in opposition specific, set In summary, I feel that formal debate is not the best method. It may be widely-used and speaking order, steeped in tradition, but I feel that it also has and length many problems. The method does little to foster empathy and increase understanding of speaking as too much of the focus is on winning. time, students The idea of problem-solving, rather than competing, is overlooked. are both Formal debate does have a role in the constrained classroom, but only as part of a larger exploration of the issues at hand. A range of meth- and liberated Anna Liddle, in opposition ods using active and cooperative learning Often students do not want a soapbox! is more inclusive, less confrontational and Standing up in front of the class to argue can permits a plurality of belief to be shown, albe daunting for many, especially those with lowing young people to understand a range self-confidence issues. of views. Students should not be afraid of the All students can benefit from small middle-ground. group work, which better supports shyer As Citizenship educators, we must strive learners and allows students to evaluate for a pedagogy that empowers students each other’s ideas and draw on each other’s and creates critical thinkers in a supportive skills cooperatively. This doesn’t mean a environment. bit of friendly competition is off-limits. At CND Peace Education we developed ‘The Andrew Fitch summarises his arguments Bomb Factor’ format, where in small groups in proposition students put across a variety of views There are undoubtedly a huge range of creatively, in the style of the X-Factor! This tools available to the Citizenship teacher to not only introduces a plurality of arguments, engage students and to encourage them to but allows students to employ what best participate in all manner of discussions. Of suits their learning styles, be it a poster these tools, formal debate is the best! (perfect for the less confident) or a song/rap! Formal debate lays a foundation upon Light-hearted methods such as these can which other forms of discussion can build. defuse a potentially highly-charged debate The safe atmosphere that formal debate making the discussion less confrontational. creates allows for grey to be bought into the It is important for students to advocate discussion, with the black and white having views not necessarily their own, but only if been argued and rebutted, back and forth. they have a chance to eventually reach their It is, in part, the very confrontational own conclusions. nature of formal debate that allows, ironiOther methods also work well, such cally, for a safe and encouraging atmosphere. as a debating continuum. One side of the The students are acting, they are performing, room is the “strongly agree” point, the they are engaging in a game; they are not at opposite is “strongly disagree”. Students risk of having their true opinions questioned situate themselves along a line between anymore than their bank balance is threatthe two depending on their opinion. All ened by Monopoly. can participate in this especially visual and Intellectual activity takes place, students’ kinaesthetic way of exploring the “grey area” confidence grows, and all through what is with no passive spectators on the sidelines. ultimately a game! In conclusion, let me just This method allows a certain amount of say – all students do want a soapbox, some freedom to explore issues that are raised, just don’t know how to get on it! ▪ whereas the formal style of debating could be seen as too structured. Pictured left: Primary school debater (ESU). on their own personal soapbox, often at the expense of quieter students. Consequently, it is the students who lack the confidence to risk ‘battle’ against their confident classmates who stand to gain the most. They can now have their allotted time, without interruption; they can voice opinions safe in the knowledge that they are not necessarily perceived as theirs, and that they will not be brought ‘to account’ for them later in the day. Formal debate gives every student a soapbox!
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Debating in a conflict zone Can methods used in the classroom make a difference in real-world conflict resolution? And how can working with young people in global conflict zones inform Citizenship teachers about their everyday practice in schools? Andrew McCallum talks to Debate Mate’s Jess Dix about her work with youth leaders in Palestine and Israel. Jess Dix is Education Development Director for Debate Mate, a charitable organisation that trains university students to run afterschool debate clubs in schools located in socially disadvantaged areas across the UK. She recently visited Palestine and Israel with colleagues as part of a project to train youth leaders how to use debate with young people from both sides of their particular conflict. She believes the work carried out has the potential to make some difference to how the territorial dispute is viewed on a local level and that lessons learned there throw light on some of the uses to which debating can be put by Citizenship teachers in UK schools. Jess is clear that her team were working with youth leaders with a very specific view of a potential solution to their conflict. Belonging to a grassroots organisation called One Voice, which has offices in several cities around the world, they believe in and promote a two-state solution that sees the 1967 Palestine-Israel borders as offering the basis for an independent, viable Palestinian state. They reject violence as a means to resolving conflict and seek an end to occupation of the Palestinian territories. However, even with clearly shared aims such as these, Jess points out “that a resolution clearly means different things to both sides.” Debate Mate’s role was, then, twofold. On the one hand, it was to disseminate its own methods and philosophy
Tensions were high when they came together... but we couldn’t do so without debating the most important issue that affects all their lives
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in using debate with young people not only as a medium for exploring controversial topics, but also as a means for developing key communication, higher-order thinking and interpersonal skills; on the other hand, it was to provide One Voice youth leaders from both Palestine and Israel with the opportunity to debate their own versions of what a two-state solution to their conflict might mean in practice. The Debate Mate team went first to Ramallah, in the central West Bank, where they worked with over 40 Palestinian youth leaders. They then travelled to Tel Aviv to work with a similar number of Israelis. Finally, both groups came together in Jerusalem to debate the motion: “This House believes that a one-state solution is the only permanent solution”. Jess admits that in spite of being relatively well-informed about the conflict, she was not prepared for what she saw in Ramallah. “There was far more poverty than I was expecting,” she says, “and the Palestinian people live under incredible restrictions.” Her sense of shock was compounded when confronted with entirely different conditions only a few miles away in Israel. “We were suddenly in a very modern, Westernised world,” she says, “with youth leaders who generally had much more experience of formal education.” This meant that it was sometimes easier to transmit the principles of Debate Mate to the Israeli participants, some of whom had previously experienced formal debating. The contrast in living conditions, combined with the limited opportunities for Palestinians and Israelis to come together, even within an organisation like One Voice, led to some anxiety before both groups met in Jerusalem. “Tensions were high when they came together,” Jess comments. The Debate Mate team thought carefully about what ultimately should be debated and concluded, Jess says, that “we couldn’t bring them to-
Andrew McCallum is Senior Lecturer in Education at London Metropolitan University. He is author of The Complete Citizenship Resource File, published by Routledge.
gether without debating the most important issue that affects all their lives. However, we had to take great care about how to get to that point.” To this end, the team helped ease tensions by drawing on strategies used when working with schools. Games were played before the debate proper and then both sides were split up into mixed Palestinian-Israeli teams. Participants from both groups were also trained to offer Points of Information. Consequently, everyone involved was forced to engage with opinions other than their own, either in having to argue for a one-state solution, contrary to their own beliefs, or in having to take on board points about a two-state solution from a different perspective to their own. They were also placed in the interesting position of being in a team putting forward an argument which was not held by a single person involved – namely that a one-state solution is the only viable solution – but which might win under the rules of formal debating (as it happens, the motion was defeated). Participants deemed the event a success. A Palestinian youth leader commented that members now felt “more comfortable to participate in public debates.” Another said he now felt more able to “make people really believe in my cause.” Such conclusions are useful to consider when bringing debating back to some of the more mundane, though still pressing, issues with which young people contend in the UK. Jess is adamant that Debate Mate is not about giving a few high-achieving students the rhetorical skills often associated with academic success, but
about providing students of all abilities with structures within which to think and put forward opinions. Consequently, she believes the strategies used in the Middle East are equally applicable to Citizenship teachers using debate at home. Without structure, she believes that classroom discussions around controversial topics are sometimes difficult to control, with limited opportunity for students to acknowledge and take on alternative viewpoints. Under the terms of formal debate “opinions can be heard without dissolving into arguments.” As well as developing their linguistic and cognitive skills, students also experience the value of self-restraint, moderation and listening to others. She recommends building up to difficult debate topics in much the same way as demonstrated in Jerusalem, by first engaging students in fun topics where little is at stake in the final outcome before confronting big issues. She concludes that “the Debate Mate programme in Israel / Palestine essentially helped the young people to become better citizens through fully understanding each other’s point of view; this is an important part of Citizenship teaching, and debate is the perfect platform to allow this to happen.” A short film of the Debate Mate – One Voice collaboration can be viewed at http:// youtu.be/OZKKqqv5pLk. Debate Mate run teacher training as well as their core after school debate programmes. For more information see their website: www.debatemate.com or telephone 020 7922 8008. ▪
As well as developing their linguistic and cognitive skills, students also experience the value of self-restraint, moderation and listening to others
Pictured left: a street scene in Ramallah. Below: One Voice Palestine and the Debate Mate team.
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Cultural differences and debating To what extent are the conventions of debating influenced by cultural identity? Alfred C Snider presents a discussion of his experiences. have now done debate training in over 38 countries around the world. While not an expert in speech culture or intercultural communication, I do have a reasonable amount of experience to bring to the subject in making several observations. Making generalizations here can be a risky business. I have always found the broad application of stereotypes to be troublesome and counterproductive. No member of a major group fits the stereotypes that may be applied to that group. With that in mind, I would like to note that these generalizations do not apply to all people in that group and may not be overwhelmingly accurate. Rather, I will try to speak of debating ‘tendencies’ and ‘concerns’ that I have seen in my travels. At the third ‘Thinking and Speaking a Better World’ Conference held in Maribor, Slovenia in October 2010 I led a fascinating panel discussion on this issue with Abdul Gabbar Al-Sharafi from Yemen, Abdel Latif Sellami from Morocco, Maja Nenadovic from Hungary and the Netherlands, Debbie Newman of the United Kingdom, David Cratis Williams of the USA and Masako Suzuki Takahashi from Japan. I have shamelessly borrowed some ideas from this discussion, which can be seen at: http://debatevideoblog. blogspot.com/2010/10/panel-cultural-variation-debate-and.html. Speech culture Different societies have a different speech
culture. Before teaching debating in Finland I heard that they have a Finnish speech culture, especially the region I was going to (Tampere). I read about the old saying, “a few words can cause a lot of trouble.” I did find this reflected in some of my interactions, but the training was very productive. The following observations may be a reflection of specific dimensions of various speech cultures. Politeness norms Politeness is more ritualized and more important in some societies. They can have complete procedures for showing gratitude, but also specific ways in which to phrase disagreements. At times there are signals that are lacking to show constructive disagreement. I was once told that decades ago when Japan started debating it was decided to do so in English because the Japanese politeness conventions made debating difficult at times. Obviously, Japan has overcome these barriers, but nevertheless it makes sense to me that in some societies attacking the ideas of a guest or outsider might be construed as extremely impolite. For this reason people may either decide not to become involved in debate or else hold back during the event itself. Audiences may also feel uncomfortable watching, and those from other cultures perceived as misbehaving. Disagreement and personal dislike This is an issue in many cultures and in many situations. When one person disagrees with another, at times there is an inference of personal dislike not just different opinions about an issue. An example occurred in Korea when I was there in 2000. The prime minister asked me to run a workshop with his office staff because they were always trying to determine what his opinion was and then echo it, while what he wanted was many different ideas so that he could
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Politeness is more ritualized and more important in some societies. They can have complete procedures for showing gratitude, but also specific ways in which to phrase disagreements.
Alfred C Snider is Edwin Lawrence Professor of Forensics at the University of Vermont. His website includes a range of debate resources, see http://debate.uvm.edu.
discover the best. They feared showing disagreement with his ideas. I tried hard to help his impressive staff understand, and I think I did, but it is hard to change the habits of a lifetime, both personal and professional. We all have confronted this. Once you indicate disagreement smiles may fade and looks of consternation may begin. I am not sure that it is unique to any specific culture, but some experience this in heightened form, regardless of whether it is common to all humanity. Gender issues It is not a unique issue that ‘men’ have a more privileged debating voice than ‘women.’ Among the Mapuche people of Chile, for example, women do most of the talking, which is why so many excellent high school debaters in Chile have been Mapuches. Yet, this is often an exception. Women and girls who choose to speak on serious issues are often interrupted and told what to think. This is common across the globe, but more pronounced in some societies. While teaching debate in Iraq I was confronted by several female students after the first debates and told it was one of the most empowering experiences of their lives. Previously when they spoke about serious issues an older male (usually a relative) would interrupt them and tell them what they should say and think, but in their practice debate the men had to listen and remain silent, before answering their arguments. Sexism in debate is not new nor is it located in only some societies. It may be a more serious problem in some, but it is also a universal concern. For example, in the USA it is appropriate for men to get excited and speak forcefully about issues, but when women do so they are often branded as ‘hysterical’. I assume that even the Mapuches need to work on this, making room for more male voices. Standards of ‘what is debatable’ Different issues are in different categories of ‘debatability’ in different societies. It is usually a good idea to debate a topic that has reasonable grounds for argument on both sides, but this may be socially determined. For example, basic issues of gay rights are
While teaching debate in Iraq I was confronted by several female students after the first debates and they told me it was one of the most empowering experiences of their lives.
not worth debating in UK circles any longer, but are still open for debate in places like the USA, while being beyond debate in other societies. The historical record may also play a part in determining what is debatable. In Japan I am told that a group of wealthy industrialists wanted to put up money for the national association to debate about the extent of Japanese war crimes during World War II and how they were severely exaggerated, but the association refused because they did not want to honor this position with an equal place on the debating platform. My assumption is that different cultures and societies are ready to debate different issues at different times. Authority standards Finally, some cultures share different ideas of authority figures and sources. Debaters are advised to use facts, opinions and conclusions from others to support their argument. In some societies this is reflected by the use of religious scripture to support arguments (Northern Virginia and Northern Iraq have this in common). Of course, in reality quoting these documents only works if everyone accepts them as revealed truth, so I have had to explain to many that this assumes we all agree on everything, where the premise of the debate is that we do not, and they should seek means of support for an argument that would be accepted by the ‘other’. It is not just religious scripture, but also famed people of history, whether Thomas Jefferson in the USA or Mao Zedong in China. Debaters need to always think about what will work in the mind of the impartial audience, which is one of the greatest strengths of the whole activity. Conclusion I have been lucky to be exposed to and become educated by the many debaters and teachers from many cultures that I have worked with. As a race, humans speak with many voices, and to me they are all welcomed into the debate. ▪
Pictured left: The London Debate Challenge run by the ESU. www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Summer 2012 / Issue 33 / Teaching Citizenship / 19
Parliamentary debate in different countries Westminster may often be called the ‘mother of all parliaments’, the majority of modern parliaments since the French revolution have adopted a semi-circular format for debate. This is not necessarily correlated with the number of parties in a given polity: Canada (which is one of a number of s discussed in the editorial, there Commonwealth countries which retains a are many different ways of holding Westminster-style layout) has had signifia debate. The relatively recent use cant third and fourth parties over the past of formal debating as a means of century. The USA is dominated by Democore curriculum delivery develcrats and Republicans, but has semi-circular oped out of the UK’s strong tradilayouts in both the Senate and House of tion of extra-curricular debate, Representatives (although, of course, the itself modeled on university Founding Fathers tried to establish the USA societies such as the Oxford Union as a non-party-political system). (established in 1823) which was, in However, a semi-circular debating arturn, directly inspired by the then rangement is particularly suited to multitwo-party parliamentary system party politics. When populated by the and its oppositional politics between the parties’ representatives, it acts like an everWhigs and Tories. present pie chart, reminding members and A two-sided ‘Proposition v. Opposition’ observers of who holds the largest mandate format has therefore developed as standard. to govern and, in countries where coalitions But, just as the House of Commons has are a standard outcome of elections, which adapted its seating arrangements to permit parties are having to work together to create the inclusion of a major third party, educaa majority. tional debate formats do not have to be limitGermany’s long tradition of multi-party ed to a simple two-team affair. The standard politics is, perhaps, responsible for its uniformat for university debate competitions in versity debaters developing a format called the UK is known as the ‘British ParliamenOffene Parlamentarische Debatte (Open Parliatary’ (BP) format and consists of a total of mentary Debate). In this format, formal set four teams, two on each side. Chiming well speech lengths are also allocated to Freie Redwith the current situation at Westminster, ner (free speakers) who can choose to agree both sides can be seen as a form of uneasy with either the Proposition or Opposition, or coalition; in the case of BP, the second team to present a third point of view. on each side is not allowed to contradict its Given the often unruly conduct of predecessor, but as competitive BP debates debates in the House of Commons, one rank teams in order from 1 to 4, they are might wonder whether the spatial stand-off required to outdo them by presenting between the Government and Opposition ‘extensions’ to their side’s case which show benches has an effect on behaviour. Evithem to be the better team. dence to the contrary can be found on YouBP debates are invariably presented with Tube; type in ‘Fight in Parliament’ and you’ll both teams facing off against each other come across lots of amusing videos of brawls down the two sides of a long table; but while in Russia or Pakistan that go way beyond
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Just as the House of Commons has adapted its seating arrangements to permit the inclusion of a major third party, educational debate formats do not have to be limited to a simple twoteam affair
Photo: © Andrew Cowan / Scottish Parliament
The format in which formal debate is conducted can have a profound impact on what is said. Harold Raitt explains why, discussing parliamentary systems in London, Edinburgh and Berlin.
Harold Raitt has worked in education departments at the English-Speaking Union and National Theatre and is now Director of Johannes Factotum & Friends, a group of inter-disciplinary arts, media and education experts: www.johannesfactotum.com.
government’s side which can be roughly paraphrased as asking “does the Prime Minister agree that both he and our party are absolutely brilliant?” Soundbites prevail, as today’s media is reluctant to broadcast any exchange longer than about ten seconds. In Holyrood, First Minister’s Questions open with a set of exchanges between the First Minister and Opposition Leader which tend to be more focused on digging deeper into a single issue; however, half the session often elapses before more junior MSPs get to have their say. In the German Bundestag’s Befragung der Bundesregierung (Questions to the Federal Government), Chancellor Merkel is not normally even in attendance. Proceedings are opened by a five minute speech on a chosen issue by one of the cabinet Ministers, underlining the Ressortprinzip (Principle of Individual Ministerial Responsibility) and of the Kollegialprinzip (Collegiality) which are firmly embedded in Germany’s written constitution. Later each Wednesday afternoon, a further Fragestunde (Question Time) takes place, where oral answers to pre-submitted questions are often answered by Staatssekretäre (Permanent Secretaries) rather than ministers. The suggested lessons borrow concepts piecemeal from these different set-ups; seating layout, speaker order, time limits, deferring to experts and prepared v. unprepared answers are some of the differences acted out in the second lesson. Of course, this brief investigation does not look at several hugely important procedural systems within a parliament. The interplay of different chamber debates and committee systems in the drafting and redrafting of detailed legislation demands serious attention; A-level students in particular should be encouraged to compare footage available on www.parliamentlive. tv of the difference between debates on a specific bill passing through the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and possibly to develop a further full-scale role play of these activities. I hope this dramatic approach to active learning proves to be a stimulating experience for you and your students; let me know about your discoveries, including some of the best ‘suggested formats’ from lesson three, at email@example.com. ▪
Do the semi-circular formats of the Scottish Parliament (pictured bottom left) and the German Bundestag (pictured below) have an impact on the conduct of political debates?
Given the often unruly conduct of debates in the House of Commons, one might wonder whether the spatial stand-off between the Government and Opposition benches has an effect on behaviour
Photo: © Deutscher Bundestag / Marc-Steffen Unger
the antics of even Westminster’s notorious Mace-wielder Dennis Skinner. But there is a definite message – “we’re working against you” – that is sent out by the Westminster layout. And, in general, there is an implicit feeling of “we’re working together towards a common goal” in semi-circular formats, particularly when a non-party-political symbol (such as the flag in the US Senate or the Mace in the Scottish Parliament) is placed at the semi-circle’s focal point. Indeed, it was a desire to get away from the atmosphere of Westminster that led to many of the decisions behind both the architecture and the parliamentary procedure of the devolved Scottish Parliament at Holyrood in Edinburgh. Not all of these goals have been realised. As the late Campbell Christie, a key figure in securing devolution north of the border, said in an interview with www.holyrood.com last year, “I was on the Constitutional Steering Group set up to work on the arrangements for the new Parliament and I argued for quite a while that we should not have First Minister’s Questions and while yes, the First Minister should report to Parliament, perhaps through committees, it just demeans politics to have that yah-boo politics that simply replicates Westminster and is only of interest because they are doing battle and I just feel hugely disappointed that our committee structure, which is much better than that at Westminster, is just not having the influence we envisaged.” Parliamentary procedures are numerous and complex, so for the following three lesson scheme of work I have chosen to focus mainly on the two areas mentioned by Christie in his quote; firstly, the weekly opportunity for parliamentarians to ask questions of government figureheads and, secondly, the oft-overlooked area of committees. As well as being two areas of great importance, the committee system is an area where some of the non-combative techniques discussed by Anna Liddle earlier in this edition can come into play. Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons is a media circus with audiences around the world (particularly in the United States) even exceeding those in the UK. Point-scoring by opposition parties alternates with rhetorical questions from the
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Theme: Debate / Lesson Plan
Parliamentary debates in London, Edinburgh and Berlin A medium term plan about the relationship between style and substance This scheme of work is dependent on sets of skills developed through embedding a formal debate model (like the one described in the overview on pages 8 and 9) in regular classroom practice. It builds on these basic skills to enable students to think about the ways in which debate can be used. Main learning objectives for Scheme of Work: • Comparing the way parliamentarians hold ministers to account in Westminster, Holyrood and the Bundestag (1.1a, d) • Take part in formal debates modeled on real-world parliaments (2.2a, b, c) • Evaluate the best methods for fair parliamentary conduct (1.1b) and create ways to make parliaments better (2.3a).
the ‘News & Media Centre’ menu option. Select ‘First Minister’s Questions’ from the links on the righthand side of the page, and choose the most recent installment. • Load http://dbtg.tv/fvid/1581508. • A set of between three and six topics. These should be put in motion forms starting “That this House ...” (Westminster form), “That the Parliament ...” (Scottish form) or “The German Bundestag ...” so that they can be supported by the Government and opposed by the Opposition. Important note on class size: The active learning part of the Scheme of Work only works with a class size of 20-30 (ideally more), so consider combining smaller classes for Lesson 2.
position Leader; they tend to dominate the first part of proceedings, so you may not hear from anyone else. • Individually, students should write down their impressions of the debate. • Working in groups and as a class, get students to compare and contrast the Question Times. How is the layout different? What order do people speak in, for how long, and in how much detail? Are the MPs and MSPs behaving themselves? What is the role of the Speaker (in Westminster) and the Presiding Officer (in Holyrood)?
Development Divide the class into the four groups and subgroups below. Distribute the lists of motions that you allocated to the groups before the lesson. Starter Note the opportunities for differenTalk about what has been in the news tiation. To keep things simple you this week. If you were a Member of may want to stick to using the first Parliament, what questions would two groups first, just to draw out you want to ask the Prime Minister the contrast between these two about recent events? parliamentary styles.
Resources: • Whiteboard, speakers and good internet connection for streaming video. Preload the following pages in separate windows or tabs (instructions correct at the time of going to print): • See www.parliamentlive.tv and click ‘What’s On’. Using the date options, find the most recent Wednesday for which ‘Oral Questions to the Prime Minister’ is listed at 12pm. Click the link to load the page. • Go to www.scottish.parliament.uk and click on ‘Parliament TV’ under
Introduction • Watch the first five or six minutes of Prime Minister’s Question Time from Westminster. Wait until you have heard from several MPs on both sides, including the Leader of the Opposition. • Individually, students should write down their impressions of the debate. • Watch the first five or six minutes of First Minister’s Question Time from Holyrood. Wait until you have heard two or three exchanges between the First Minister and the Op-
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Students should use this section of the lesson to first brainstorm ideas and then arrange them into groups with similar themes.
Group 1: Westminster
Group 2: Holyrood / Bundestag
Groups 3 and 4: Committees A and B
Prime Minister: Prepare for questions on all topics (Level: Hard)
Cabinet Minister: Prepare a statement (you can specify the duration) on any of the given topics. (Level: Hard)
Committee chair: Lead preparation of one topic (the two committees can use the same topic, or different ones), and make notes on opinions of all committee members (Level: Hard)
Government backbenchers: Prepare a Government supporters: Prepare a ‘helpful’ question for the Prime Minister ‘helpful’ question for the Government on one topic each (Level: Easy) Minister, possibly on the Minister’s chosen topic.* (Level: Easy) Opposition Leader: Prepare three questions against the Prime Minister, either on the same topic or different topics (Level: Medium)
Opposition Leader: Prepare three questions for the Government Minister, as least one of which should be on the Minister’s chosen topic* (Level: Medium)
Opposition backbenchers: Prepare a question each against the Prime Minister, on any of the given topics (Level: Easy)
Non-Government Members: Prepare a question each either for or against the Government Minister (non-Government members are not necessarily all from the same party). One or two of these should be on the Government Minister’s chosen topic.* (Level: Easy)
Questions marked with a * should be written down and handed to the teacher, who will collate and pass them on to the Government Minister at the end of the lesson so they can then prepare responses. Tasks and research should be finished off for homework.
Committee members: Prepare questions or short statements (for, against or neutral) relating to the topic. (Level: Easy) Experts: Listen to the preparation of the topic and select a particular area to go away and research in detail for homework (Level: Harder)
ing to watch? Which makes for more effective government? Why?
• Questions / responses to be short, but no set time limits. • One speaker from each side to be called before Leader of the OpposiLesson 2 tion is called. • Leader of Opposition’s contribuNote – you may need to extend the tions not to be entirely consecutive. activity if short periods, classroom • Pre-appoint responsible ‘rabblemanagement issues or particularly rousers’ on each side to cheer, laugh Plenary able and talkative students require it. and boo. Clapping, however, is not Watch the final video clip from the permitted. Announce to all students German Bundestag. Listen to the Location & Resources: that this behaviour is acceptable chairman introduce the Cabinet School Hall or Gym – with chairs, in this part of the lesson, but only Minister before skipping to about 7 tables and benches arranged as in within limits, which you can reinminutes into the clip. Students who diagram below. force as Speaker using the familiar speak some German can listen out phrase “Order! Order!” for the chair mentioning the BundStarter estag’s new traffic light and clockAll students to briefly revise their Section 2 (chaired by teacher) based system for timing speeches questions (and, where appropriate, Take 2-3 minute to calm all students (rot = red, gelb = yellow, grün = green, group Government or Opposition down (a meditative exercise with rücklaufende Uhr = countdown clock). policies) from previous lesson. eyes closed may be useful here; ask There is then a very well-mannered a drama teacher for suggestions!). first question from an Abgeordnete Section 1 Run activity in Holyrood / Bundestag (MP). Discuss how this clip differs (with teacher as Speaker) set-up. Suggestions for a hybrid ‘nonfrom Westminster PMQs and ScotRun activity in Westminster set-up, Westminster’ format include: tish FMQs. Which is more interestincluding following characteristics: • Initial statement (for duration www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Summer 2012 / Issue 33 / Teaching Citizenship / 23
Theme: Debate / Lesson Plan agreed last lesson) from Cabinet Minister. • Initial set of consecutive questions from Opposition Leader, followed by more junior members. • Time limits to be enforced with audible or visual signals. • Only pre-notified questions as written down in last lesson may be used. • Polite clapping may be allowed. Absolutely no booing, cheering or laughing. Section 3 (chaired by students) Run committee sessions, with the following rules: • Chairs to call on participants who, based on their work together in the last session, will be most helpful at any given moment. • Collaboration and mutual help is the most important part of the
exercise. then edit sections of the footage as it • ‘Experts’ to be called upon and acmight appear on: corded particular respect as ‘visitors’. • The evening’s main news broadcast (soundbites only, with links from a Plenary presenter). Discuss differences between differ• A dedicated political programme ent exercises. (longer excerpts). • On-demand footage on the internet as used in Lesson 1. Lesson 3 Invite the Media Studies students to the lesson to show their footage and Revise differences from last lesson explain their editing decisions. Ask and ask students to work in groups students from your class to compare and individually to devise their own the footage with their memories set of ideal parliamentary procedures. of the real event. Then hold a joint discussion on the implications of this for democracy and increasing / Lesson 4 (optional) diminishing public understanding of the political process. ▪ Work with your school’s Media Studies department to film Lesson 2. Media Studies students should
gym benches: aim to have insufficient seating for all class members! exam desks and chairs, one per student
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Useful debating links
ESU Debate Academy
www.debateacademy.net Contains information on great residential courses run by Alfred C Snider (see earlier article) in Vermont, USA and by Bojana Skrt in Slovenia.
www.idebate.org The home of IDEA, the International Debate Education Association, includes access to many resources, including the legendary Debatabase and Debatepedia which have ‘Pros’ and ‘Cons’ for thousands of motions.
www.debatemate.com Debate Mate works with children in the country’s most challenging inner-city schools and uses debaters www.intelligencesquared.com from top universities to run after-school debate clubs. Organisers of great public debates with Their website contains details of how to apply for this big-name speakers. programme, as well as information on their teacher training opportunities, which are open to all schools. www.noisyclassroom.com Videos, training ideas, lesson plans and resources for www.debatingmatters.com using debate in the classroom, run by Debbie Newman Debating Matters is a national debating competition (who contributed an article to this edition). for sixth form students. A key difference in format is the active involvement in each debate of members of www.bristoldebating.com the panel of judges from various professional fields. www.dus.org.uk (Durham Union) www.cus.org (Cambridge Union) www.esu.org www.lsedebate.org The English-Speaking Union runs a range of educawww.oxford-union.org tional programmes. Among them are the ESU Schools A handful of the many UK universities running Mace (the national debating championship), Discover schools competitions in British Parliamentary style. Your Voice (a debate training programme) and Debate Search online for ‘ICYD’ for details of which UK Academy (which is a residential course run each sum- university will be running the next International mer). The ESU is also responsible for selecting and Competition for Young Debaters, suitable for training the England World Schools Debating Team. KS3 students. www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Summer 2012 / Issue 33 / Teaching Citizenship / 25
Tricia Manktelow is a Citizenship teacher at Dartford Technology College and an ACT Council member. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the third installment of her diary, Tricia Manktelow puts her school’s new debating society to the test in front of a live audience.
And then where was our audience? The girls had exhorted their friends to come but only three had turned up. And where were the teachers who had promised so faithfully? I felt as let down as the he Christmas holidays girls that all our hard work wouldn’t quickly became a distant be showcased. memory as we planned We decided to go ahead for the demonstration regardless – maybe we could debate. The girls had show our video in assemblies to chosen the motion ‘the demonstrate what the uninitiated media is a bad influence had missed? I was just about to on young people today.’ introduce the debate when eight S had bravely agreed girls arrived, ushered in by Mrs K. to take the opposing They were normally to be found just viewpoint and convinced hanging around and were renowned K and N to work with for being loud and slightly unruly – her. They spent two sessions getting but it was better than nothing. And together their thoughts and ideas so we began. remembering to find evidence The proposers began with T, to support their points. They unfortunately she lost her nerve encouraged each other to practice 30 seconds in and began to giggle and emphasised the need for good and walked away from the table. J body language that they had learnt. was brilliant. She stepped into the The group felt they were ready to breach and presented several valid show the school what they could do. and supported arguments. She The date, time and place were would have gone on but time was arranged. Posters were distributed up and S took to the floor. She spoke to all classes and invitations were eloquently and with passion – and specifically issued to teachers and considering that this was against her the senior management. I had asked natural inclination I was very proud the drama teacher to record their of her. performance so we could evaluate A short question session afterwards. Everything was ready. followed, and several of the audience Or so I thought! made some valid points and then The girls arrived as I was the vote. It was no surprise that the organising the desks and chairs. motion was passed but only narrowly They were ready. But where was Mr and S is to be congratulated on her M and his camera? He had forgotten. effort – she has definitely understood And his camera didn’t have any the ethos of debating. charge – try the Dance department. The following week I was rather More time spent seeking and surprised to see about 20 students cajoling. waiting to start the meeting. The 26 / Teaching Citizenship / Issue 33 / Summer 2012 / www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
girls had returned for more – and this time they hadn’t been chased in by Mrs K! They paired up with the ‘old cohort’ and we taught some of the skills. The next stage was to determine a topic and prepare for our next debate. They were adamant that they wanted to debate the price of school lunches, which proved too boring to sustain their interest. If nothing else this had taught them that choice of topic is important too. Having at last galvanised the growth of the group I was loathe to pursue this topic anymore and so we awaited a new motion. In my enthusiasm I volunteered the group for a demonstration debate at ACT conference. When I told the students about my plan, they were excited and so our new motion will be based around the idea of student rights and responsibilities. I hope some readers will join us at the conference to see what we have achieved in our first year. ▪
Pictured below: A young debater from Blackfen School for Girls. Photo by Pete Pattisson.
Diary of a debate debutante part three
Marcus Bhargava is Course Leader for Citizenship PGCE at London Metropolitan University. Liz Moorse was Subject Adviser for Citizenship at QCDA, now a consultant in Citizenship education.
Assessing Citizenship is easier when you’ve planned for it Marcus Bhargava and Liz Moorse respond to Lorellie Canning’s article on assessment in Teaching Citizenship 32.
Each Standards File includes a selection of a student’s work over a longer period of time to demonstrate their performance, and a teacher commentary on what they believe this shows about the student’s attainment. Lorellie’s integrated assessment system We captured students work in many forms – could be very useful when assessing Citizen- essays, oral discussion, presentations, model ship through cross-curricular provision. making, flow diagrams and preparatory However, there are some issues with the notes – to encourage teachers to look at the approach which is focused around a sumfull range of what students generate when mative assessment task leading to ‘back end’ assessing their performance, not just the assessment; it also risks over-complicating outcome of a lesson or final piece of work in assessment using frameworks such as APP a project. The Standards Files are a practical Speaking and Listening that may disappear representation of the subject standards and with the new National Curriculum. In this a benchmark to help with consistency in article we aim to: teacher assessment. They equate with hold• draw attention to the National Curriculum ing exemplar files of work in a school to ilStandards Files for Citizenship that help plan lustrate performance at different standards. better teaching, learning and assessment; • revisit the requirements for assessing Assessing Citizenship – Citizenship and using level descriptions; revisiting the requirements • highlight some key principles in assessing Assessment can be seen as the bridge beCitizenship effectively. tween teaching and learning. Students make We offer an approach that makes assess- good progress when given regular and high ing the subject simpler by integrating it into quality feedback by teachers to help them everyday teaching and learning, but which know how to improve. Effective judgements requires careful medium-term planning. about attainment require teachers to draw on a wide range of evidence. The specific Citizenship ‘Standards Files’ requirements regarding teacher assessment Our experience of developing the QCDA and reporting to parents for Citizenship are: Citizenship Exemplification of Standards 1. Teachers must assess each student’s perFiles, shows it is possible to assess learning formance at the end of key stage 3, against in Citizenship by integrating it into everyday the level descriptions and keep a record of teaching. The Standards Files: their judgement. • show teachers that different kinds of evi2. Schools must provide an annual report to dence or work generated by students is valid parents on a student’s attainment in Citizenwhen making assessments; ship for pupils in years 7 to 11. • show collections of students work can be used to make holistic judgements; and Level descriptions • support consistency in teacher assessment The level descriptions for Citizenship help by referencing the collections of students’ to establish clear national standards for the work to the national standards. subject and provide a tool for teachers when The materials are available at the planning progression. They help identify ‘Teachfind’ website: http://bit.ly/HTJV2y. the qualities of student performance (or
We offer an approach that makes assessing the subject simpler by integrating it into everyday teaching and learning, but which requires careful medium-term planning.
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Feature Assessing Citizenship... / Marcus Bhargava & Liz Moorse pitch) at different levels of attainment. Most students should reach level 5 or 6 by the end of key stage 3. Contrary to their use in many schools, level descriptions are designed to make holistic judgements of students overall performance at the end of the key stage. They are not for marking an individual piece of work, or a list of things students should do. In ‘Citizenship Established?’ (2010), Ofsted provided some helpful information about good assessment practice. The most effective assessment was found in schools where assessment was well planned and understood by all staff involved; and teachers had considered and understood the standards of knowledge, understanding and skills required by the National Curriculum. Typically these schools had good quality marking and record keeping; used a range of modes of assessment; made effective use of evidence of student progress and attainment; and provided thorough annual Citizenship subject reports to parents. Aligning assessment with sequence of learning outcomes Assessment can never be the end point of everything else you do in the teaching and learning cycle. It must be built into mediumterm plans for sequences of lessons and should start with the codification of differentiated learning outcomes in terms of concepts and processes for your sequence. This will have several positive impacts on your teaching. First, you are more likely to align individual lesson outcomes and learning activities with your overall sequence outcomes. This will help you focus on the types of learning activities used in individual lessons and across the sequence and to establish a wider evidence base for making accurate assessment judgements. Second, learning becomes more coherent for students. Students are clearer about the relevance and the direction of travel, and playing a fuller role in assessing and target setting. Third, assessment becomes more meaningful and simpler to engage with. You are clearer about what you are looking for and can intervene in simple ways to check understanding or aid progression as you teach. The first step involves mapping where
you expect different elements of the key concepts and processes to be developed across the key stage. In Citizenship we want to keep the content topical, but we still need to plan a coherent progression route. It makes sense to focus on one concept and one or two processes for each sequence of lessons you plan – an approach that the teachers took when developing the Standards Files. Content can then be selected to meet conceptual development and skills requirements, rather than the other way around. Your second step should be to identify which elements of the key concept and processes you wish to see students develop during the sequence of learning. Write these out in terms of differentiated outcomes. You can use the level descriptions to help you, though you will need to add a little more ‘meat to the bones’. For instance, in a Year 8 sequence of lessons on democracy, you could look to the levels to help you define a minimum expected outcome in this concept. The Level 4 description includes the outcome ‘show[ing] understanding of democracy by making connections with their knowledge and experience of representation and taking action in the local community’. So you need to codify which aspects of democracy you expect them to show understanding of in relation to the topic and context. You could repeat this with the ‘process’, and then with Level 5 and Level 6 outcomes. The final step is to stand back from the two or three outcomes you have outlined and consider how these could be realised across the four to six lessons in your sequence. Construct learning outcomes for your individual lessons that you know, taken together, will help to realise these sequence outcomes. Using a wide evidence base drawn from everyday learning Once you have aligned the sequence of learning outcomes with your individual lessons, the next step is to choose a range of activities for each lesson that will help students to meet these outcomes. The Standards Files show a range of different types of evidence that you can use, without needing to resort to end of unit assessment tasks. If your alignment is built into your planning, practically anything you do will provide useful
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Assessment can never be the end point of everything else you do in the teaching and learning cycle
assessment information and, allow you to give instant feedback to learners.. This kind of ‘rapid formative assessment’ (Leahy and William 2009) leads to substantial increases in learning and attainment, sometimes up to 70-80%. Teachers involved in the Citizenship Standards Files told us that they were more comfortable in making assessment judgements and giving on-going feedback. They knew what they were looking for and had made sure all the learning activities could give them and students a clear idea about how the students were progressing. Involving students in assessment Experts in assessment have highlighted the impact student involvement in the assessment process can have in boosting attainment, developing critical, independent and motivated learners and improving student confidence. Hattie (2011) highlights how self-assessment can help students understand and clarify new ideas and concepts and, in turn, apply these in different contexts. The research suggests spending more time involving students in assessment at different stages of the learning cycle, when carefully planned, can be a more productive use of time than more traditional contentorientated teaching. A powerful way of involving students in the assessment process is through fully involving them in establishing learning activity success criteria. Though many teachers share success criteria, research shows this is less effective than when students have helped create them. This is partly because when students are involved in creating them they are identifying important knowledge, understanding and skills that need to be demonstrated - an important cognitive challenge. In Citizenship it also has the advantage of democratising the learning process. There are some important provisos here. First, modelling is critical in this and Clarke (2008) suggests asking students to analyse a strong piece of work (real or created for purpose) helps them recognise quality and identify knowledge and skills that should be present in their own work. Second, all students should work to a common success criteria rather than differentiated criteria. Differentiated criteria have been shown to
complicate the assessment process and often limit outcomes for certain learners by setting the bar too low. A more effective approach is using targeted forms of differentiation to support learners in achieving the criteria. Third, Citizenship teachers in particular may need to be open minded about elements that students might include in the criteria. For instance, students may decide the use of social networking is a must when they are taking action. However, it is better to encourage students to construct more flexible criteria that allow them to show what they know and can do in different ways. This allows for creativity while helping students and teachers to see if essential outcomes are being met. The Standards Files include some important examples of how students were involved in peer and self-assessment and the establishment and development and use of success criteria. These include both simple and more formalised, developed approaches. They also include some examples where students were given more creative freedom and choice over how they met the criteria.
research shows that students’ learning can be significantly improved through teachers being clear about what they are looking for
Summary Getting assessment right is an on-going challenge for all teachers. However, research shows that students’ learning can be significantly improved through teachers being clear about what they are looking for, sharing these intentions with students, making sure that learning activities allow intentions to be realised and involving students in assessing these and identifying next steps. This requires careful planning when developing sequences of learning, but the time taken at that point will undoubtedly pay off later in the teaching and learning cycle. ▪ Further reading Bhargava, M (2010) ‘Assessing Citizenship’ in Gearon, L (ed.) Learning to Teach Citizenship in the Secondary School Abingdon: Routledge Clarke, S (2008) Active Learning through Formative Assessment London: Hodder Hattie, J (2011) Visible Learning for Teachers Abingdon: Routledge Leahy, S and William, D (2009) Embedding assessment for learning: A professional development pack London: Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Summer 2012 / Issue 33 / Teaching Citizenship / 29
A decade of progress under threat Citizenship in further education Rob Pope reports that after a decade of exciting developments, citizenship education in post-16 education and training faces uncertainties as difficult as those confronting the subject at Key Stages 3 and 4. A turning point was reached with the closure in 2011 of the government funded Post-16 Citizenship Support Programme, a material and symbolic withdrawal of explicit policy support for Citizenship in the sector. Ten years of development in post-16 Citizenship As with schools, there is a long history of citizenship education in the post-compulsory sector. However, our current conceptions of the subject and the new impetus to develop provision date from the second Crick Report (on Citizenship for 16-19 year olds) published in 2000 and the introduction of Citizenship to the national curriculum in 2002. Crick’s recommendations led to the Post-16 Citizenship Development Programme, established in 2001, with pilot projects to trial different approaches in all the post-16 settings. The Development Programme paved the way for a national support programme of staff training, networking and curriculum resources development for post-16. Thousands of staff members from a wide variety of organisations were to take part in support activities. Work with the pilot projects from 2001 also contributed to consensus about what effective post-16 Citizenship learning should look like – with learner led, active approaches very much to the fore – and strongly influenced the flexible guidance on post-16 Citizenship provided by QCA in 2004. Post-16 Citizenship has aimed to build on earlier learning in school, with a particularly strong emphasis on learners’ active involve-
“Post-16 citizenship should give young people opportunities to: identify, investigate and think critically about citizenship issues, problems or events of concern to them, and decide on and take part in follow-up action where appropriate, and reflect on, recognise and review their citizenship learning.” Play your part: Post-16 Citizenship, QCA, 2004
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ment in their own communities. As practice evolved it became possible to identify six main approaches to Citizenship provision in increasing use, in varying combinations, by all types of further education provider: Learner voice and representation 1 – The many ways of consulting young people and giving them a voice in decision-making can form a close alliance with Citizenship learning. They include: formal structures, (eg. youth councils, parliaments, advisory panels) specific activities (eg. focus groups, conferences, group discussions); and collecting feedback (eg. online surveys, suggestion boxes, video-diaries, chatrooms, blogs etc). Citizenship qualifications – A range of Citizenship qualifications for post-16 learners including: GCSE, AS and A Level Citizenship Studies; Citizenship qualifications at Level 1 and Entry Level; the Project qualification at Levels 1 and 2, and Extended Project at Level 3 (AS equivalent), which could be on a Citizenship theme. Group tutorial and enrichment – School sixth forms and colleges typically offer group tutorial and enrichment programmes which provide space within the curriculum to include Citizenship activities. Voluntary and community action – Volunteering and community activities allow young people to gain experience of taking action on issues that are important to them. Charity fund-raising can make a contribution to Citizenship learning when young people learn more about the issues underpinning the need for funds. Local community organisations often provide a focus for volunteering and citizenship action by young people. Single events – Citizenship events, such as conferences, workshops and exhibitions, can bring a ‘buzz’ to an organisation. The best events are planned and run by young people based on topics of interest to them.
Rob Pope is a founder of Active Citizens FE. Previously he worked on the LSIS Post-16 Citizenship Support Programme and has considerable experience as a teacher and manager in further education. He recently joined the ACT Council to represent the interests of the FE sector.
Projects - These involve young people in undertaking projects on issues of interest to them. They often involve research but may have a range of outcomes in the form of music, art or video. These may or may not contribute to a qualification. Policy context and funding cuts: threats to post-16 Citizenship The closure in 2011 of the government funded Post-16 Citizenship Support Programme represented a serious loss of free staff training, resources and policy direction for Citizenship in further education. It is detrimental that, in national policy, there is no longer an explicit endorsement of the value of citizenship education in the postcompulsory sector to encourage and support those making decisions about the offer to students and the allocation of resources in colleges and other providers. Further, to compound this difficult policy context, the impact of funding cuts is beginning to be felt in further education. Government announcements have made clear that over the next four years the sector will bear a proportionally higher level of spending cuts than any other within education, added to which some areas of reduction have particularly worrying implications for Citizenship provision. One immediate example concerns the 75% cut (114 hours per learner reduced to 30) in ‘Entitlement’ funding, which all further education providers receive for each full-time learner, and covers areas including pastoral tutorial support and ‘extracurricular’ enrichment activities. These are all important ‘spaces’ where many colleges and other providers have located Citizenship programmes and activities related to learner voice and representation. Commenting on the cut to Entitlement funding, Eddie Playfair, Principal of Newham Sixth Form College maintains: “The massive cut to entitlement funding is a real threat to vital tutorial and enrichment work in colleges. We will be forced to consider the future of important programmes which promote the development of students’ skills and their wider contribution to the community.” Another Principal, Ian Millard, of Wolverhampton College strikes a similar
note, commenting: ‘We believe our students need to be skills ready (through appropriate qualifications), work ready (through developing the right attitude and approach to work) and citizen ready (to play their full part in their communities and the wider society. Our learning programmes are designed to support these three equally important priorities. The challenge we face going forward is how to maintain our priorities given pressures on loss of entitlement funding’. The hope is that such committed practitioners and providers will find new ways to continue supporting Citizenship activity as well as the wider enrichment curriculum. One option is likely to be the replacement of some non-accredited programmes and activities with long or short funded qualifications with Citizenship content. Certainly many practitioners are keen to come together to consolidate progress made in the last ten years and think about the best ways forward, as reflected in interest in Active Citizens FE, a new national network for post-16 Citizenship.
In national policy, there is no longer an explicit endorsement of the value of Citizenship education in the postcompulsory sector
Active Citizens FE With the closure of the Post-16 Citizenship Support Programme this new non-funded network has been set up to facilitate continued collaboration between post-16 Citizenship practitioners and access to relevant news, resources and training. The Network aims to: • Promote excellence and innovation in learning for effective democratic participation and social action • Campaign at all levels for the further development of post-16 citizenship education • Offer members a range of opportunities and services including: networking and sharing; learning resources; events; training; special projects; and a regular e-bulletin. For further details of Active Citizens FE contact Rob Pope, Bernadette Joslin and Helen Wiles at email@example.com or see www.activecitizensfe.org.uk. ▪ 1. For an exploration of the links between learner voice and post-16 citizenship see Rob Pope and Bernadette Joslin, Improving Quality, Developing Citizens: Learner Voice in Post-Compulsory Education and Training in Gerry Czerniawski and Warren Kidd, The Student Voice Handbook: Bridging the Academic/Practitioner Divide, Emerald, Bingley, 2011.
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Feature / International
Teaching for citizenship in multicultural democracies Carole Hahn’s book Becoming Political made an important contribution to understanding citizenship education and highlighted the importance of comparative studies. In this article she shares some thoughts on a recent visit to Europe, during which she investigated some of the changes that have been happening in our increasingly diverse continent. Sharing some initial findings, she also invites us to consider how these observations connect with our own emerging practice. oday citizenship educators across countries share similar challenges as the idea of ‘citizenship’ evolves to reflect new realities of globalization and increased diversity. For the past three years I have been conducting a comparative study of education for citizenship in England, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands to shed light on how citizenship educators in different countries conceive of citizenship and citizenship education in schools with transnational students, ie. young people who are immigrants or whose parents are of immigrant backgrounds and whose daily lives cross national borders. For these young people, allegiances, life experiences, and understandings of citizenship extend beyond a single nation state. Although this is ‘research in progress’ and my ‘findings’ are still evolving, I thought that some of what I am learning from the three continental European countries might be of interest to readers of Teaching Citizenship.
The Study I selected the countries because they share a democratic heritage and intertwined histories, yet their conceptions of citizenship and inclusiveness differ, as well as their approaches to citizenship education (Hahn, 1998). For example in Denmark schools have long been required to model democracy in order to teach democracy. In the Netherlands, like England, traditionally citizenship education was not a high priority, but currently schools are required to promote active citizenship and social integration. For this article I am drawing on my observations and the teacher interview data collected from several schools in each country to illustrate the varied approaches to citizenship education in schools and the ways in which teachers’ perceptions reflect the national, as well as global discourse on citizenship in multicultural societies. Varied Contexts, Practices & Perceptions — In Denmark Large cities such as Copenhagen, Odense, and Arhus received many newcomers over the last 20 years. As the numbers and visibility of immigrants increased, so did the backlash against them. Right wing political parties that campaigned against immigrants grew in size and the media reported antiimmigrant incidents, most famously the political cartoon that depicted Allah as a terrorist and which spurred demonstrations in many countries. With respect to citizenship education, the law governing gymnasia (which 50-60% of students attend) says that teaching shall contribute to developing students’ interest in and capacity for active participation in a democratic society. Most schools have active student councils that receive a budget from the municipality and they elect representatives to the school council (who serve along
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For these young people, allegiances, life experiences, and understandings of citizenship extend beyond a single nation state.
Carole L Hahn is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Educational Studies at Emory University in Atlanta USA. For 25 years she has been studying education for citizenship in the UK and the three European countries presented in this article. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
with teacher and parent representatives). In my visits to Danish schools over the years, students have consistently confirmed that they regularly participate in decisions about what and how they study various subjects. Samfundsfag, or social science, is a required subject for all students for at least one year in the gymnasium, ending with an oral exam. In addition, students may choose to take it for two or three years as one of the subjects for a written exam. Samfundsfag covers politics, economics, and sociology. In different schools I visited classes had studied the Danish political system, human rights, identity development, and the Danish welfare system. One gymnasium, located in a large city, serves a population of students who are about 40% second-generation immigrants with parents from throughout the Middle East, Africa, and south Asia. As part of a ‘global school’ network, a committee of teachers and students identified global topics for which they developed lessons. Additionally, at a full school meeting, teachers, staff, and students together decided to become a Fair Trade School serving Fair Trade products in the school café. The school has links with several international partner schools and they hosted students from many countries during the international Youth Climate Conference. I observed one class of students planning to work with a campaign called Blood in the Mobiles to create awareness of child labour in Congolese mines that produce minerals for mobile phones. Students at this school, like many students all over Denmark, participate in the annual Day of Work when students stay out of school to do jobs to raise money for the project of the year, such as one in Niger. One teacher from a diverse school explained, “Danish citizens, they are members of local communities, you form a group all the
A committee of teachers and students identified global topics for which they developed lessons. Additionally, at a full school meeting, teachers, staff, and students together decided to become a Fair Trade School.
time – for football, for good food etc. It is a Danish tradition since the 19th century – a nursing ground for democratic thinking.” In The Netherlands When I studied citizenship education in the Netherlands in the 1990s, the country had an official policy of multiculturalism. People I met were proud of their country’s reputation for tolerance and welcoming newcomers. However, as in Denmark, much has changed as the numbers of immigrants continued to grow. Most of the migrants and their families live in the four largest cities and a corresponding ‘white flight’ has led to formerly ‘white schools’ becoming ‘black schools’. Although only 10% of the total population of the Netherlands is classified as having ‘immigrant backgrounds’, neighborhoods, as well as schools, in large urban areas are almost entirely made up of Turks, Moroccans, Surinamese, and Antilleans. The most recent immigrants tend to be family members of earlier migrant workers and refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia, but the numbers of refugees are still comparatively smaller (Hertweijer, 2009). Dramatic events in the Netherlands in recent years include the murders of high profile critics of immigration and ‘Islamization’ and increased electoral success for antiimmigrant politicians. Today, many people speak of the failure of multicultural policies and since 2006 schools must promote active citizenship and social integration (burgerschap en sociale integratie). It is left to each primary and lower secondary school to decide how it will incorporate the new subject into the school program. The subject maatschappijleer (study of society) is offered as an exam subject in upper secondary school. The themes for the exam in 2008 – 10 were: political decision-making, mass media, and crime and society. And beginning this
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Feature / International Teaching citizenship in multicultural democracies / Carole Hahn year, 2011 - 12, students must complete a social apprenticeship (like community service). Furthermore, Dutch schools are now required to teach a historical canon that highlights 50 core events in a chronological history. According to one observer, through these initiatives history education and citizenship education have been given higher priority than in the past (Doppen, 2008). One school in my study delivers a prevocational programme and serves students whose families come from 40 countries. Although, secondary schools are supposed to have student councils (Bron, 2009), some schools, like this one, do not and this school had not yet implemented the new social apprenticeship policy when I was last there. One teacher at this school explained, “Citizenship is for me that you can live, get a job, know where to go and know something about politics, mass media… and know something about how society works… to be part of society”. This teacher said that when he taught the topic ‘multiculturalism’ in maatschappijleer, he used his own background as an example. He told his students that his relatives were Indonesian, Moluccan, and Surinamese. He also said he led a discussion about the practice of Muslim girls wearing a head covering, a topic raised in the students’ textbook. The teacher asked, “why should we as a school allow it or forbid it?” He noted that in Turkey, girls are not allowed to wear it, but in Morocco, it is encouraged. He asked the students to give arguments for and against it, referring to freedom of religion and freedom of speech (which are guaranteed by the Dutch Constitution). Another time when he had used students’ diverse backgrounds was when the class studied youth culture and subcultures. He gave students an assignment to interview a parent or grandparent about what youth subculture was like when they were growing up. At another school students visited a home for the elderly and the students took the elders, many in wheelchairs, for a ‘walk’ through a nearby park. The experience was aimed at breaking down stereotypes between the white Dutch elders and the multicultural young people, as well as introducing the young to ideas of volunteerism in the community.
In Germany A recent census in Germany revealed that 20% of the population had a migration background (Luchtenberg, 2009), primarily concentrated in a few large cities in the West. These figures include three large groups: 1) second and third generation descendants of guest workers who came to Germany in the 1960s, primarily from Turkey; 2) more than two million ‘resettlers’ – people of German ancestry who had been living in the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries prior to 1989; and 3) asylum seekers or refugees that crossed the borders into Germany after the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. Most German states provide secondary education in three types of schools – Hauptschulen (through year 9), Realschulen (through year 10), and Gymnasien (preuniversity, was through year 13, but a recent reform is to finish at the end of year 12). In a few localities, there are integrated Gesamtschulen that contain all three tracks. Students from migration backgrounds, as compared to traditional German youth, are most likely to attend Hauptshulen and least likely to attend Gymnasien. One school that serves many students ‘from migration backgrounds’ is quite unusual in being an integrated school that contains students from all three tracks. The lobby of the school is festooned with flags from all over the world and there is a banner that reads, “Welcome to a European School.” The school is part of a network and has partner schools; students go on school trips and email students in partner schools. This school, like most German secondary schools, has a student council and because it is a rare whole day school it offers extra-curricular activities in the afternoon, particularly related to arts and sports, which are two specialties of the school. A social studies teacher at this school described ways in which students act as citizens in their school. In years 5 – 7, pupils have a weekly class meeting when they talk about issues in their class, such as classroom conflicts. Then as they get older, the students talk more about social and political issues. In one year 7 class students talked about the Haitian earthquake and the students decided to raise money for
34 / Teaching Citizenship / Issue 33 / Summer 2012 / www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
Dutch schools are now required to teach a historical canon that highlights 50 core events in a chronological history
relief efforts. Older students plan class trips and elect representatives to the student council. The student council developed a new ‘school constitution’ and they organised a protest against the state’s new rules to discourage integrated Gesamtschulen. With respect to pedagogy, as in many German secondary schools I’ve visited over the years, social studies teachers often lead their students through a text – frequently photocopied materials that present different theoretical perspectives. The teacher’s questions seek comprehension and the teacher elaborates on student answers. It is also quite common to have Pro-Contra (for-against) discussions. A teacher at this school explained that citizenship, “is a mix of politics and civic duties… We have to open their perspective, so they ask, what can I do about this?” His class discussed: Should Turkey become a member of the EU? Should Georgia become a part of NATO? This teacher also noted that although theirs is a European School that serves students from ‘migration backgrounds’, they do not have an explicit goal of focusing on either a global or multicultural perspective. Rather these perspectives run through the curriculum and school activities. For example, when students were studying for the Abitur in their English classes they looked at multiculturalism in Dublin and when they studied the American South and South Africa, they discussed issues related to multiculturalism in those countries. The teacher explained that in every class there are some students who fled, or their parents fled, from Afghanistan or as Kurds from Turkey. He said that it is “ very enriching” when such students contribute information and perspectives that the other traditional German students do not have. Reflections The purpose of this study is to learn from the perspectives of a few teachers in schools that serve students from transnational backgrounds. My intent is not to generalise to all such teachers but to gain insights into what factors might influence some teachers’ understandings and viewpoints. I noticed that among the teachers I interviewed so far, those who had experiences themselves
Among the teachers I interviewed ... those who had experiences themselves crossing borders and living in multiple societies – as immigrants and children of immigrants – seemed to have the most awareness of their students’ transnational life experiences
crossing borders and living in multiple societies – as immigrants and children of immigrants – seemed to have the most awareness of their students’ transnational life experiences. Overall, a few schools celebrate cultural diversity and everywhere most of the teachers with whom I spoke said they enjoyed leading discussions when diverse cultures and views were represented in their classes. However, some teachers from the dominant culture seemed to have only vague ideas of what students’ transnational lives were like out of school. No one mentioned that students’ families came from cultures that had varied political institutions and processes, that political views and attitudes were formed under differing conditions, and how that might affect the ways students thought of themselves and others as citizens. Some teachers recognized that students’ cultural backgrounds influence how they think about some contemporary social and political issues. Over the next year, I will continue to listen to the voices of teachers – and students – in diverse schools, and I expect that some of these early impressions will change. I welcome comments and participation from readers of this journal as together we tackle the challenges of citizenship education in varied multicultural democracies. ▪ References Bron, J (2009, November). Personal correspondence. Doppen, FH (2008, November). Citizenship education and the Dutch national identity debate. A paper presented at the annual meeting of the College and University Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies, Houston. Hahn, CL (1998). Becoming political: Comparative perspectives on citizenship education. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. Herweijer, L (2009). Making up the gap: Migrant education in the Netherlands. The Hague: The Netherlands Institute for Social Research. Luchtenberg, S (2009). Migrant minority groups in Germany: Success and failure in education. In JA Banks, The Routledge international companion to multicultural education. New York, NY: Routledge.
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Lee Jerome is the Chair of the ACT Council and edits the journal. He is also Programme Director for Secondary Initial Teacher Education at London Metropolitan University. Email: email@example.com.
Pros and Cons: A debater’s handbook (18th Edition) Edited by Trevor Sather Published by Routledge, RRP £22.99 paperback / £85 hardback ISBN 0-415-19548-9 Reviewed by Lee Jerome
This is the 18th edition of a book which has been available since 1896, although as the introduction makes clear, each revision is effectively a new book as many topics are dropped and new ones included to reflect topical and debatable issues from the time. The format is very simple – the book includes 130 debate topics, each with several recommended motions, and with a suggested list of points for and against. These topics are divided into sub-sections, which have obvious appeal to Citizenship teachers covering as they do political theory; governance; politics and economics; moral and religious issues; education, culture and sport; law and crime; and health, science and technology. Inevitably when faced with such a resource, one identifies a starting point where one has an interest or some expertise – that is most likely to enable one to establish the value of the resource. As a gay man in a civil partnership I alighted first on the debate topic ‘gay marriages’. This entry, unlike some others, has a brief introductory paragraph to set the scene. The function of this paragraph is supposedly to provide a factual introduction, but even within the limited 16 lines dedicated to this context-setting, the author manages to slip in the assertion that “the gay rights movement has much popular support, especially among the ‘politically correct.’” Without labouring the point, I was dismayed, as I invariably am, by mention of the term ‘politically correct’ in this context. Interestingly though, the author of this entry manages to devise five reasons for and five against gay marriage, whereas the author of the debate on the disestablishment of the Church of England only comes up three points for and three against. It is unclear whether the number of debating points reflects the editor’s estimation of the degree of controversy, or simply the critical capacities of the author of each section. 36 / Teaching Citizenship / Issue 33 / Summer 2012 / www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
Having said this much, it might appear that I do not like the book. In fact, these words of warning aside, I could see this book being useful to teachers trying to set up a debate club or planning to embed debate more routinely in their teaching. It provides some good suggestions for how to frame a motion and importantly provides the possible points for and against which can be used as teaching resources to be critiqued, rather than used as a script for a debate. Often the pros are directly mirrored in the cons, which would enable students to match up the arguments and think about the issues from different perspectives. It might also be useful for students to think about which arguments seem more or less compelling, and whether any important arguments are obviously missing. Older students could also use the book independently as a starting place to help them plan for a debate. There may be a need for some teacher editing, not least in those introductory paragraphs, which are not always as objective as they set out to be, and which in any case are sometimes out of date, indicating that in these controversial areas, legislation, policy and attitudes are constantly evolving. However, the book provides a useful set of teaching resources to be analysed, pulled apart, criticised, and reconstructed – I can imagine those debating points copied onto cards, ready to be subjected to student scrutiny, and thus, with a little bit of teacher input, there are potentially at least 130 lessons packed into this volume. You can ‘look inside’ the book on Amazon and I would recommend doing so. ▪
David Nisbet is Assistant Headteacher at Park View School, Chester-le-Street.
Vegetarianism: A Project Book For Schools By the Vegetarian Society Available free from www.vegsoc.org Reviewed by Lee Jerome
Integrating Global and Anti-Racist Perspectives (Secondary Pack) £60 Available from www.garp.me.uk Reviewed by David Nisbet
Vegetarianism is one of those interesting areas that often arouses intense emotional responses from teenagers. Whilst on one level it is simply a personal choice about diet, on another level it can be an important personal action which reflects a complex analysis of the global economy – the decision to ‘go veggie’ often represents the first stirrings of political literacy and political agency. Such analyses may reflect concerns with animal welfare, but also relate to the quality of food available, the environmental and social implications of growing crops to feed animals rather than people, and the persistence of hunger and starvation in a world of excess. It is of significance to the Citizenship teacher because (a) young people feel so passionately about it, (b) the personal action may have political causes and effects, (c) a proper analysis of the problem demands a sophisticated understanding of environmental, political and economic issues. This resource makes a start on this challenging agenda, but still leaves the Citizenship teacher looking for more information in order to really explore these issues in any depth. Whilst the resource calls itself a project book, there are no activities, and so it would require some additional work to turn it into a classroom project. The Society does produce some other accessible information, and so I would recommend you collect these as supplementary resources, such as a the leaflet ‘Going veggie… for the environment’ which compares quite nicely the resources required for animal rearing compared to the resources required to live directly off the crops themselves. Overall I’d say this could be a handy resource for teachers to use to engage young people in a debate that matters to many of them, but perhaps some veggie teachers need to help to transform this into a responsible take away resource? ▪
This resource aims to encourage global and anti-racist perspectives to be covered across all National Curriculum subjects through the range of lesson ideas included in the pack. It sets out to achieve this by providing a lever-arch file of detailed booklets, one for each National Curriculum subject and is full of suggested topics, resources and websites. The printed material is backed up with a CD. The resource does exactly what it sets out to do, providing very accessible booklets which can be given to individual subject areas very easily. It is packed full of good lesson ideas which are linked to the National Curriculum. A lot of time has been spent ensuring that teachers can access a wide variety of interesting topics that are both stimulating to students and which can be integrated into schemes of work rather than simply bolted on at the end of a topic. The only problem with it is that there is always the risk that when the resources are given out the teachers will not want to give them back! It’s a pity that non-NC subjects miss out eg. Business Studies; Drama. It is most certainly worth using. I could see this resource being used for a ‘Community Cohesion’ day, where students follow their normal timetable but cover a GARP topic in each lesson, be it French, PE, Design or whatever. Teachers would simply choose a topic from their resource booklet and run with it in class. ▪
www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Summer 2012 / Issue 33 / Teaching Citizenship / 37
ually ... is our understanding of rights and responsibilities limited? Bentham famously dismissed natural rights as “nonsense on stilts” but rights and responsibilities form one of Citizenship’s core concepts and they are considered to be at the heart of contemporary citizenship theory, argues Lee Jerome.
beliefs we hold about what constitutes human dignity. Human rights may be seen as moral rights until they are enshrined in legislation. Distinction 2: Individual v General Responsibilities Some rights are against specific individuals, for example employment rights, whereas others imply duties for everyone, for example property rights require us all not to trespass.
an acceptance of responsibilities – otherwise it is difficult to see how one would expect to have one’s own rights upheld if one had no intention of upholding others. However, many rights exist independently in law and are not therefore directly connected to responsibilities, for example one does not forfeit the right to a fair trial because one has shirked the responsibility to pay taxes.
Distinction 6: Distinction 3: Rights and Right Conduct Rights and responsibilities are prob- Positive v Negative Rights This is perhaps a quirk of the English ably among the most commonly Positive rights require others to act language but we need to acknowltaught aspects of Citizenship and yet to fulfil our rights, for example the edge that claiming one’s rights may the level of understanding among right to education requires the state not always be the right thing to do, many young people, and frankly to provide schools. Negative rights especially if others are harmed by among many Citizenship teachers, on the other hand are rights to nonour action. remains limited. If a pupil experienc- interference and so they are fulfilled Taking Smith’s lead on this, es weekly Citizenship lessons for five when others do nothing to infringe knowing that a right exists is only years of secondary education, and them, eg. the right not to be killed. the first step in a nuanced and chalin each of those years learns again lenging journey to work out what about rights and responsibilities, Distinction 4: that actually means. I hope ACT what progression would we expect? Civil and Political Rights members and others will contribute What might we reasonably expect a v Economic and Social Rights to the collective endeavour to rise 16 year old to know and understand Civil Rights are those against the to this challenge by coming to this about rights and responsibilities? state, for example the right to equal year’s ACT Conference to reflect, In thinking about these fundatreatment in law, and political rights share and learn in order to explore mental questions I recently turned are rights to participate in the conthis fascinating concept at the heart to a fascinating book written by Paul trol of the state. Economic and social of Citizenship. Smith in which he summarises some rights are different in that they refer The ACT Conference for primary of the ways in which people have to rights to benefits provided by the and secondary teachers takes place thought about rights and responstate and as such remain much more in London on 3rd July. The Children’s sibilities and in doing so I think he politically contentious. Commissioner will open it with a highlights some of the substance keynote address on our theme of that we may be missing from our Distinction 5: ‘Rights and Responsibilities’. ▪ own subject knowledge. Rights v Responsibilities Whilst most people link rights and Distinction 1: responsibilities the nature of the Reference Moral Rights v Legal Rights connection is far from straightforPaul Smith (2008) Moral and Political Moral rights are deemed to exist ward. There is a general sense in Philosophy Basingstoke, Palgrave independently of laws, they express which respecting rights implies Macmillan (Chapter 7 ‘Rights’). 38 / Teaching Citizenship / Issue 33 / Summer 2012 / www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
The Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT) is the professional membership association for primary and secondary school teachers involved in delivering Citizenship education. Teaching Citizenship is our magazine. It comes out once a term and is sent direct to all our members. It complements our online resources, our monthly e-newsletters and our face-to-face training or in-school CPD – all these are available to members. ACT membership provides an outstanding opportunity for professional development, whether you’re new to Citizenship or an old hand. We are a teacher-led independent charity with over 2,000 members across the country, whose principal charitable objective is to further the aims of citizenship teaching and learning. For teachers, ACT membership is only £35 for the whole year. If you’re not already a member then join now and get your own copy of this magazine – together with all the other support we offer you for teaching citizenship.
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Life is not a siLent movie The first freely available online resource designed to help teachers support young people aged 11 - 18 in the development of essential speaking skills. Featuring animations, real-life student stories, interactive quizzes and exercises, Youth Amplified is designed to help young people gain the skills they need to fulfil their potential and feel confident to contribute effectively at school, in the community and at work. Created by the University of Leeds and Speakersí Corner Trust. Using the resources, students can identify their strengths and Funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. weaknesses, learn about vital speaking skills and improve them with your support through the use of the specially designed exercises. Created by the University of Leeds and Speakersí Corner Trust. Funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
www.youthamplified.com Created by the University of Leeds and Speakers’ Corner Trust. Funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
'Teaching Citizenship' is the journal of the UK Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT). The theme for this issue is 'Debate'. (For more...