THINKING and learning about JUSTICE
Issue No 34 Autumn 2012
Journal of the Association for Citizenship Teaching www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
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Theme: Justice 06 Editorial Gary Clemitshaw and Andrew Peterson introduce the theme 08 Learning about Justice, Thinking about Justice Don Rowe considers justice in relation to the curriculum 12 Law for life: Legal capability and citizenship Martin Jones’ case for awareness of capability 14 A bright idea Gemma Yeomans on teaching a critical consideration of human rights 16 No One Is From Here 20 Migration, history & citizenship by Julie Huson 20 The impact of social media on campaigns for justice Tim Pinto discusses using digital networks in the classroom 22 The possibility of teaching justice Gary Clemitshaw asks the key question – is it fair? Features & Research 24 The summer riots 2011 28 James Nicholson et al make sense of the stats 28 Defending children’s rights ACT conference keynote by Dr Maggie Atkinson 29 Peer teaching for political literacy Harpenden Youth Council members outline their role 30 Can you make the EU interesting? Case study of a day which enthused students by Stephen Fairbrass 31 Creating citizenship communities Ian Davies explores young people’s views on community cohesion 32 Democracy, participation and identity Jeroen Bron & Eddie van Vliet consider the Dutch curriculum Reviews, Resources & Regulars 36 Choc-a-lot and From Chocolate to Computers Reviewed by Denise Howe 37 Youth Amplified Reviewed by Stephen Fairbrass 37 Giving Nation Reviewed by Peter Rodgers 38 ACTually... Lee Jerome asks is now the time for a co operative curriculum?
Published by the Association for Citizenship Teaching, 63 Gee Street, London ec1v 3rs Email firstname.lastname@example.org | Telephone +44 (0)20 7253 0051 © 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 Thanks to Gary Clemitshaw and Andrew Peterson for their work on this edition. They have brought together an interesting range of contributions to explore the core concept of ‘justice’ and in doing so they have illustrated just what a broad and complex set of ideas are nestling within that single word. By ranging across history, human rights, political philosophy and legal education, the contributors have demonstrated the power of the organising concepts which, as Don Rowe points out, are essential to hold together all the various case studies and issues we cover in Citizenship classes. By returning to the core questions – what is justice and how can we work towards a more just society? – we can provide coherence and also ensure that students are encouraged to grapple with the innate complexity of Citizenship and political thinking. In terms of resources, James Nicholson and his colleagues have developed a range of online tools to help students explore the statistics available related to citizenship issues and to think about how the data can be presented and re-presented for different purposes. In a pair of articles the Children’s Commissioner and members of the Harpenden Youth Council remind us that young people are also valuable resources for citizenship education as well as learners. And our reviews include a range of highly rated resources ranging from chocolate, public speaking and philanthropy. Please contact me if you want to review a resource, suggest a theme for future editions, contribute an article or a lesson plan. Lee Jerome, 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 / Autumn 2012 / Issue 34 / Teaching Citizenship / 3
Events & News
ACT conference offers new ideas A big thank you to everyone who came to ACT’s Annual Conference in July – it was a huge success and we hope that everyone went away with new ideas and enthusiasm for teaching citizenship. Next year’s conference will take place in June or July, watch out for further news about this. Meanwhile see page 28 for highlights of the keynote speech given by Children’s Commissioner Dr Maggie Atkinson, providing a defence of children’s rights.
Upcoming conferences for educators
Compiled by Sheila Clark on behalf of ACT Council. Share info and news about forthcoming events – email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Five Nations Network conference 23-24 November 2012 This year, ACT will be hosting the Five Nations Network conference in Reading. This conference is about information and practice sharing and development and brings together policy-makers, curriculum designers, teachers and inspectors in the field of Citizenship and values education in England, Ireland, Northern Ireland Scotland and Wales. The theme for this year’s conference is digital citizenship and looking at how we can prepare and guide pupils for learning to engage as citizens of a digital society in a digital age. What tools are available to teachers and how should we use them – if at all? To register interest in the network and for further information see: www.fivenations.net.
mental education through the lens of active citizenship. This entailed creating a series of new resources for teacher training and new activities for schools, to use as part of a Basic Education Program (bep). The bep is jointly funded by usaid and the Government of Kosovo. It aims to improve the capacity of Kosovo’s schools to provide relevant skills for its students. Additionally, ACT has been involved in wider curriculum developments including creating a series of ‘big picture’ diagrams to explain the new curriculum, developing guide books for teachers and school directors and supporting the development of the core curriculum document in all phases of pre-university education. This EU funded project work brings ACT valuable income and has further strengthened ACT’s expertise in working across Europe in support of Citizenship education and its wider applications. In addition, ACT has joined euroclio, the Europe wide network of citizenship and history teachers. There will be more about this network in an article in a future edition of the journal.
ACT reaches out to Kosovo
Why not link your activities with an international day?
News from Chris Waller, ACT Professional Officer The experience ACT gained in workPromoting Equality, Celebrating ing on the revised secondary curDiversity, Respecting Identity – riculum in 2006-7 has been put to British values for the 21st Century good use in Pristina, capital city of Plymouth, 24 October 2012 Kosovo. Since October 2010 ACT has This is a schools conference with a been working to support curriculum clear focus on Citizenship, pshee change in the new country of Kosovo. and re and occurring at what will After the war in Kosovo ended be a critical time in the development there was a decision to work towards of these subjects. Janet Palmer hmi, a new curriculum for schools that will be giving her perspective on the would be based around key compelinks between Citizenship, pshee, tencies, not just knowledge. ACT has re and key elements of the new led work on developing a CPD course inspection framework. for teachers in looking at environ4 / Teaching Citizenship / Issue 34 / Autumn 2012 / www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
Saturday 27 October CSV Make a Difference Day This year the day is highlighting the skills people can use to volunteer. Free resources for schools are available from CSV (the volunteering and learning charity) and there is a Campaign Handbook offering guidance on how to organise an activity, including ideas and advice from past participants. To receive an electronic copy email: email@example.com or telephone 0800 284 533.
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.
Monday 3 December International Day of Persons with Disabilities This day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. For more see: www.un.org/disabilities. 1st – 10th December The Forgotten 10 Challenge December 3rd is also the anniversary of the signing of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty and the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions. The Forgotten 10 Challenge is an opportunity to speak out against the scourge of landmines and cluster bombs. Students in your school could help raise awareness about the impact of these terrible weapons on communities worldwide. Free resources are available to schools if you want to sign up to the handicap international website at: www.handicap-international.org.uk/ support_us/campaign/forgotten10. Monday 10 December International Human Rights Day The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted on 10 December 1948. The date has since served to mark Human Rights Day worldwide, for activities and more see: www. un.org/en/events/humanrightsday/2011.
Staff changes at ACT office Goodbye and good luck to Millicent After six years working for ACT as our Development Manager, keeping our news up to date, regular e-newsletters, overseeing our national conferences and striving to help ACT grow and respond to the changes in citizenship, Millicent Scott has now moved on to pastures
new and we look forward to keeping in touch with her as she continues her professional development and begins her new job in citizenship and political education with the European Parliament UK office. Millicent says, “It has been a fabulous time working for ACT and supporting so many fantastic teachers all over the country. I have learned so much from you.” If you’d like to stay in touch with Millicent you can find her on LinkedIn and via Twitter @MissMillicent. Introducing Amy – our new Membership Officer Your new contact for ACT membership and the new author of the monthly newsletter will be our Membership Officer Amy Woodworth, who has been with us since April. Before Amy began with ACT, some of you may have come across her while she worked for the Citizenship Foundation’s Giving Nation programme, which runs active citizenship projects in schools. Amy says, “My academic background is in philosophy and political theory, and I have particular interests in issues of global justice and equality and diversity. I’m delighted to be working to support Citizenship teachers and helping ACT champion the cause of Citizenship education in the UK and internationally. As Membership Officer I’m often the first point of call for ACT members and hope to make sure that you get the most out of your membership. I also write the monthly e-newsletter Citizenship Focus and provide admin support for the fantastic editorial team that produce this journal. To get in touch, email me at membership@teachingcitizenship. org.uk, or call 020 7243 0051. For all other enquiries please email info@ teachingcitizenship.org.uk or call our office on 020 7253 0051.”
Pete Pattisson gives TED talk Some of you will have already met Pete Pattisson in his previous role as our National Citizenship Advisor during the roll-out of the QCDA’s national curriculum (2007-09) or been inspired by him at one of our national conferences. Check out his latest presentation about young people ‘learning for real’ and about how to make active citizenship teaching both meaningful and manageable. Skilled facilitation is the key to developing the more active forms of student-led projects and through careful guidance, this helps our young people acquire the knowledge, skills and confidence to apply their learning, enabling them to take meaningful action and make the most of having their say. (There’s also an opportunity to vote for Pete’s presentation into the spring 2013 TED conference.) See the video and vote here: http://talentsearch.ted. com/video/Pete-Pattisson-Education-should;TEDLondon. TED is a non profit organisation that began in 1984 as a conference devoted to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’ and bringing together people from the three different areas of Technology, Entertainment, Design. The two annual TED conferences bring together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less.
www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Autumn 2012 / Issue 34 / Teaching Citizenship / 5
Gary Clemitshaw is Senior Lecturer in Education at Sheffield Hallam University. Andrew Peterson is a Reader in Civic and Moral Education at Canterbury Christ Church University.
Learning and thinking about justice This edition focuses on the concept of justice in citizenship education, as outlined by guest editors Gary Clemitshaw and Andrew Peterson.
economic and financial crisis, the move toward legalising same-sex marriage, laws relating to drugs and substances, the operation of the taxation system, the use of anti-social behaviour orders, and laws relating to privacy. In addition, he concept of justice there are likely to be numerous lies at the heart of further events and processes of both Citizenship a more local nature (ie. school and citizenship and community-based) each of education. This which are concerned in some said, justice is a ways with matters of justice. term with varied In bringing together the meanings. Viewed contributions which comprise narrowly, justice this special theme we were may be aligned conscious of including pieces with the workings from a range of individuals. of the legal system Each of them provides their of a particular political sysown perspective on the ways in tem (such as England or the which ideas, issues and quesUnited Kingdom). It is in this tions relating to justice can find sense that pupils within their expression with the CitizenCitizenship lessons learn about ship curriculum. Martin Jones the criminal and legal justice reminds us that many legal systems. Viewed in a wider problems are experienced by sense, justice can have a more young adults and therefore philosophical focus, relating as urges us not to forget the imit does to questions about the portant role played by Citizenfair allocation of resources and ship in schools to inform young the good life. As a number of people about how to access the articles included here sugthe justice system. Gemma gest, these questions also have Yeomans explains how she a place within the curriculum. sought to develop her teachA range of contemporary ing about human rights by events and processes â€“ many introducing some complexities discussed by our contribuinto their interpretation and tors â€“ points to the relevance application. Tim Pinto reviews and importance of the conthe impact of new technology, cept of justice to the lives of in particular social networking young people. Such events and sites, on political demands for processes include, to name justice with reference to some but a few, the fallout from the contemporary examples. These
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new circumstances mean that demands for justice and support for causes can readily transcend national boundaries in unprecedented ways. Julie Huson argues that migration is a constant feature of human life, that diversity is always present under a veneer of settled homogeneity, and that perplexity about new experiences of difference are perfectly understandable. She suggests that teaching which acknowledges this understandable reaction makes learners more ready to learn about migration and diversity through historical and contemporary examples and the implications for our ethical responses. Don Rowe starts the theme with an argument that justice should not only feature in specialist schemes of work, but should pervade all our teaching in Citizenship. In an afterword Gary Clemitshaw reflects on this challenge and asks us to consider where teaching about justice might go beyond teaching about legal processes. What unites the authors is their commitment that pupils should encounter the concept of justice as a central element of their Citizenship education, and that they should do so in an investigative and critical way. This is a commitment which we share and, in doing so, we hope that the contents prove valuable to yourselves as Citizenship educators. â–Ş
Pupils should encounter the concept of justice as a central element of their Citizenship education, and do so in an investigative and critical way
resource The new, free teaching
for Key Stage 3 from th
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.
Learning about Justice Thinking about Justice In this article Don Rowe considers the nature of learning and thinking about justice in relation to key concepts of the Citizenship curriculum. He makes the case that justice can, and should be, related to much of the teaching and learning in Citizenship. ver since the early days of the Citizenship curriculum, there has been a strong emphasis on teaching for concepts. The Crick Report (AGC, 1998, p45), which pre-dated the 2000 legislation, set out a conceptual map of key ideas which effectively marks out the territory and which should underpin all the schemes of work. These concepts are as follows:
Justice is the first virtue of social institutions as truth is to systems of thought.
John Rawls A Theory of Justice (1971)
• Democracy and autocracy • Cooperation and conflict • Equality and diversity • Fairness, justice, ‘rule of law’ • Rules, laws and human rights • Freedom and order • Individual and community • Power and authority • Rights and responsibilities. In my view this is still an excellent conceptual map around which to build any Citizenship curriculum (and not just for secondary schools, either). If the teaching units provided across KS3 programmes of study adequately cover these concepts, using themes and issues of relevance to students’ lives, then one could be confident of providing a broad-based curriculum – and, of course, the same concepts should be systematically revisited at KS4 to create a curriculum which is genuine continuous and progressive. 8 / Teaching Citizenship / Issue 34 / Autumn 2012 / www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
One problem with the original curriculum framework for citizenship education was that in its presentation it was concept light. It appeared at first glance to focus on key factual areas and looked rather like a civics curriculum, a list of facts about democracy, government, law and so on to be ploughed through. It was a mistake to read the framework that way because teachers were exhorted to develop skills of enquiry, communication, participation and responsible action at the same time. In the 2007 revision of the national curriculum, the conceptual structure of the curriculum was brought to the fore. But this happened after 9/11 and the London bombings in 2005, and the ‘nationbuilding’ function of citizenship education (which was always there) became more prominent and the subject was in effect, reframed to take account of current concerns. The original conceptual map became slimmed down and the new concept of identity was introduced. In my view, this was a loss but, out of the original list of concepts in the Crick Report, democracy, justice, rights and responsibilities and diversity remained – and of these, I would argue, justice is the most important. This is so, because I agree with Rawls that justice must be seen as the highest virtue of any public institution. In his book Vision of a School, Jasper Ungoed-Thomas (1997), a former senior HMI, argues that respect for persons is the first virtue of the ‘personal school’, truth is the first virtue of the curriculum, and justice is the first virtue of the school as an institution. I would also argue that at the heart of very many public debates which form the stuff of politics, is the question ‘what is a fair society and how can we make it fairer?’ Of course, this is a highly controversial question and therefore a key aim of the Citizenship curriculum should be to induct young people into the
Don Rowe was a founder member of the Citizenship Foundation and is now a writer, researcher and consultant on citizenship education.
Learning about justice at a mock trial. (Photo: NCCL and Galleries of Justice Museum.)
national debates about social fairness and to equip them with the skills to act according to their own convictions. Any citizenship issue will be controversial, because if it is in the public domain it is going to be subject to debate by citizens who take different stances on it. I am not, of course, saying that every aspect of every topic will be controversial. Let us take lawbreaking and criminal justice as an example. We would not dream of asking students to debate whether murder is right or wrong. However, there are a number of very significant public debates around the taking of life such as ‘should murderers lose their own right to life’ (the capital punishment debate) and ‘is it right to allow people to help someone take their own life in certain circumstances?’ and ‘should people involved in assisted suicide be accused of manslaughter when they have acted out of compassion not hatred?’ At the heart of issues such as this are questions of fairness or justice. Every issue to which one turns in the Citizenship curriculum should have issues of justice towards which we can and should direct students’ attention. Here are just a few examples: • What would make our society fairer – for example, more taxation, or less? • What would be the fairest voting system
– first past the post or a form of PR? Is it fair that 16 year-olds (or prisoners) can’t vote? • Is the justice system fair? Do offenders have too many rights? Do victims have sufficient rights? Do we have a fair court system? (what is the function of lay juries, the role of advocates for the accused, limits of the powers of judges, mitigation in cases where people are found guilty, different strengths of sentences to fit the crimes and so on). • Is the distribution of wealth in our country and, indeed, the world fair? If not, what obligations do we, or society, have to the poor? What steps can be taken to make the world a fairer place for all? Or is it fair that our society tries to support disadvantaged people in a range of ways (free education, free health service). Would it be more, or less, fair if we stopped people using private education or private medicine, as some people argue? Sometimes the term ‘social justice’ is regarded as a left-of-centre concept. But it is actually a neutral one. A fair situation is one in which all the competing claims are held in equilibrium or balance. Unfortunately, people do not agree on what these competing claims might be, or on their relative importance. Thus, in the last general election, both sides of the left/right divide claimed fairness as a key justifier for their policies and manifesto proposals. From the right,
Respect for persons is the first virtue of the ‘personal school’, truth is the first virtue of the curriculum, and justice is the first virtue of the school as an institution.
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Theme: Justice Learning about Justice, Thinking about Justice / Don Rowe
there was the argument that it is fair that individuals should stand on their own feet and keep more of the rewards of their efforts and from the left we heard the claim that too many people in society have unfair privileges in life and that those who have ought to be more compassionate towards those who have less. The age-old debate about the deserving and undeserving poor is essentially a justice debate. Substantive and procedural concepts Justice is a substantive concept – it can be studied not only as the system whereby those who break the law are brought to justice. I wonder how often ‘parliament’ and the ‘justice system’ are taught without the key idea of justice being raised. I believe that keeping the concept of justice firmly in the forefront of our minds when we construct our syllabuses and plan our lessons will bring clarity and relevance to many topics – giving students a very accessible handle on these often obscure topics. Young people, after all, are interested in the idea of fairness right from an early age. In citizenship education we can tap in to such concerns and help students progressively understand how fairness becomes an increasingly complex issue as they are able to take more factors into consideration. Justice is also a procedural concept. By this I mean that when we debate justice issues we ask the question ‘is this fair?’ and this is a key process of citizenship education. So, we do not only help students to understand what justice is and how it has (or has not) been achieved, we should also consciously develop students’ skills in discussing justice issues and making ‘justice judgements’. I have already suggested that issues of justice or fairness are great motivators for discussions and without motivation to learn, I believe learning is less effective.
keeping the concept of justice firmly in the forefront of our minds when we construct our syllabuses and plan our lessons will bring clarity and relevance to many topics
Pictured above: Students taking part in a mock trial. (Photo: NCCL and Galleries of Justice Museum.)
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Critical thinking is a very important element of citizenship education. In democracies, it is essential that the electorate is able to hold those in power to account. Citizens need to be informed skeptics, capable of puncturing arguments designed to hoodwink the public or capable of asking, ‘is this the best way to achieve this end? Making justice judgements, or thinking about fairness is actually a skill which young people need to be helped to acquire. Research suggests (Biggs and Collis, 1982) that when thinking about citizenship issues, young children (e.g. at level 3), will tend to focus on a single issue or reason and base their judgement on this. For example, when I asked children to think about the situation regarding a quarry, in which economic and environmental arguments were pitched against each other, at level 3 a student might say that the quarry should not be allowed to expand because it is dangerous - end of story. At level 4, children are able to identify opposing arguments but in making their decision they opt simplistically for one side or the other. It is still black and white. However, at level 5, we see students being able for the first time to hold competing claims in some kind of balance. Thus, they might decide that the fairest way to settle the issue is to say that the quarry can go ahead and expand, but within certain limits, or that the quarry owners should restore the environment afterwards by infilling and replanting. In this way, the economic imperatives are fairly balanced against the needs to protect the environment. Once we see the making of justice judgements as an emerging and developmental skill, we are more likely to consciously provide opportunities for students to practice this kind of critical thinking and decision making. Holding competing claims in balance to achieve fairness is the kind of procedure
that is characteristic of much citizenship (and political) thinking. For example, in many political issues, the rights of some citizens are in tension with the rights of others. But in other cases, the rights of individual citizens come into conflict with the rights of the community as a whole. One example of this might be the removal of certain human rights, such as the right to a fair trial, in cases where the community is believed to be in serious danger. Some would argue that the right not to be tortured can be over-turned if the danger to the community is sufficiently significant. Developmentally, this kind of thinking is only possible once students have grasped the idea that society can be regarded as an entity in its own right. This happens somewhere around level 5 or 6. Once students can understand that society itself can make a claim on citizen’s allegiances, then thinking about fairness becomes more complex than it was before. Thinking about justice or fairness is not only political but also deeply moral. At the level of the primary curriculum, we will not present pupils with full-on political issues but there are many forms of justice thinking, within the context of children’s lives, which they are perfectly capable of understanding. Indeed, in a major study of the social thinking of children between 18 months and three years, Dunn (1988) found that fairness was a central moral concern and that it was highly motivating – and when motivated the children achieved higher levels of understanding and argumentation. If presented in the right way, i.e. in concretised forms such as a story or a real life incident in the life of the school, children, even in KS1, can achieve significant levels of critical thinking. A favourite example of mine occurred in a lesson I once observed in which a teacher of a year 2 class had read the children an anthropomorphic story about a girl ‘rat’ called Ethylene, who was very bright and won a scholarship to a private school. She wanted to become a brain surgeon in later life. However, Ethylene was badly bullied by the girls in the school and the teacher asked the children to think about which had been the worst (or most unfair) thing they had done to her. Some children thought that the worst things was putting ink in
Ethylene’s knickers but this was suddenly challenged by a very thoughtful child who said that it depended on whether they were thinking of Ethylene as a girl or as a rat – this would make a big difference because rats weren’t very clean animals. The point was not articulated as clearly as this, because the child was operating at the limits of his articulacy, but this was for me a remarkable example of sophisticated critical thinking, challenging the paradigm of the story and thinking on two levels at the same time. Stories, (including case studies used with older students) are wonderfully rich ways of stimulating students’ thinking about justice. This is because of the way stories present moral and social problems and dilemmas in concrete, recognizable settings to which children respond both cognitively and affectively. And the key to thinking and acting fairly in life, is not only to understand a situation and to think clearly but to act with empathy and understanding. Teachers are called on every day to do this, but this is equally true of every person in their personal lives and every citizen acting in a public setting. Justice without mercy is not true justice. A further discussion of this issue can be found in The Concept of Justice and its Assessment by Don Rowe at www.citized.info. ▪
At the level of the primary curriculum, we will not present pupils with full-on political issues but there are many forms of justice thinking, within the context of children’s lives, which they are perfectly capable of understanding.
References Advisory Group on Citizenship (1998) Education for Citizenship and the teaching of Democracy in schools (Crick Report), London: Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. Biggs, J.B. and Collis, K.F. (1982) Evaluating the Quality of Learning: the SOLO taxonomy (Structure of the Observed Learning Outcome), London: Academic Press, Inc. Dunn, J. (1988) The Beginning of Social Understanding, Oxford: Blackwell. Rawls, J. (1971) A Theory of Justice, Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press. Ungoed-Thomas, J. (1997) Vision of a School: the Good School in the Good Society, London: Cassell. www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Autumn 2012 / Issue 34 / Teaching Citizenship / 11
Law for life: Legal capability and citizenship In this article Martin Jones argues that recent Coalition government policies make it even more important that young people’s awareness of legal capability is raised within the context of citizenship education. He presents a powerful model to help teachers plan to develop young people’s awareness and understanding of how they can use the law to resolve problems when they arise. he Coalition government’s legal aid bill became law in May 2012, cutting £350 million from the legal aid budget and removing housing, employment and social welfare from the scope of legal aid. The cuts take effect from the beginning of April 2013 and combined with cuts to Citizens Advice Bureaux and other advice services will sharply reduce access to free legal advice. These changes make it even more important for everyone to have the basic ability to deal with common law-related issues. We all need to be able to avoid problems through better anticipation and planning, and when problems do occur, we need to be able to take quick and effective action to stop them turning into expensive legal problems. Difficulties with issues like housing, employment and family problems are an all too common feature of modern life. The ongoing household survey (see http://bit.ly/ SpOd7i) undertaken by the Legal Services Research Centre (LSRC) shows that one third of the population will experience such a problem over a three-year period. When these problems do occur they can have a huge impact. The LSRC reports that 40% of people with such problems worry about them ‘all or
most of the time’. LSRC data also shows we are most likely to experience these problems between the ages of 16 and 25 (see http:// bit.ly/SsqZkJ). This is when we leave home, rent accommodation for the first time, get a first job and establish relationships. Without previous experience of such issues it isn’t surprising that many people struggle to deal with them, especially those from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds. So what can we do to prepare young people to deal with these issues? What should a school leaver know and be able to do in order to be prepared for these hazards of modern life?
Legal capability Law for Life: the Foundation for Public Legal Education has addressed this question as a central part of work with the University of Bristol to develop an evaluation framework for Public Legal Education. We set out to identify what everyone needs to know and be able to do in order to deal with law-related issues, breaking this down into its constituent parts to produce a conceptual framework for legal capability. You can read more about this work at www.lawforlife.org.uk/evaluationframework. The framework divides capability into four key domains or areas. 1. Recognising and framing the legal dimensions of issues This domain covers awareness of the concept of rights and obligation and the ability to recognise the legal dimensions of a situation or issue. It also includes being able to apply those rights to a situation, to distinguish between civil and criminal issues, and having awareness of basic legal concepts. 2. Finding out more about the legal dimensions of issues This means being able to find out what specific rights and processes relate to an issue,
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We believe the capability approach will be helpful to teachers. It puts less stress on detailed legal knowledge, while emphasising practical skills like communication and being prepared.
Martin Jones is Director of Law For Life: the Foundation for Public Legal Education, a new charity providing people with the knowledge, confidence and skills needed to deal with law-related issues. For more see: www.lawforlife.org.uk – and if you’re interested in piloting resources, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
including the practical steps needed to deal it. It also means being able to find and assess different sources of information and know when to get expert advice. 3. Dealing with law-related issues This deals with being able to apply the relevant law, assess risks and opportunities and decide on a desired outcome. It also means having the skills to deal with the situation, being able to communicate effectively, control anger and emotion, plus basic organisational skills. 4. Engaging and influencing This introduces a broader perspective by looking at the wider impact of the law on communities. It also includes an awareness of the role of law in a democratic society and the ability to challenge dysfunction and malpractice in institutions and to get involved in improving the law.
So what does this mean for Citizenship teaching? This capability approach has several advantages. By dividing legal capability into its constituent parts it identifies the specific knowledge and skills needed to deal with civil law issues and so sets the agenda for these issues within the Citizenship curriculum. It introduces a very practical approach to the law, seeing the law as something that can be used to avoid or resolve disputes; as an opportunity rather than a threat. Our own research (see http://bit.ly/PP8X9X) amongst disadvantaged young people in London and Liverpool found that many of the young people we talked to had little or no knowledge of most basic rights and entitlements; in particular they seemed unaware of any system of civil law to which they had recourse. This failure to recognise the legal dimension of common issues means they are unlikely to turn to the law to resolve a problem or dispute and are less likely to look for appropriate help.
There is evidence (see bit.ly/SsqZkJ) that many young people will happily use the internet and smart phones for social networking and messaging but would not think to use them to find out what rights they may have in a particular situation. When they do, they struggle to find accurate and reliable sources of information. There’s a need for greater awareness of websites like www.advicenow.org.uk which provides quality-checked information from a wide range of sources.
Emphasising skills Our capability approach emphasises the skills that are needed to deal with issues and situations, particularly the ability to communicate effectively and be prepared and organised. Talking to the person you have potential dispute with is challenging – but no-one ever teaches you how to do it. How do you prepare for a phone call to your bank to complain about excessive charges or for that difficult conversation over the till in a shop when you take back faulty goods? We have worked successfully in after-school clubs with College of Law students using role play to practice the skills needed to resolve problems, for example when young people experience problems with mobile phones. We have also worked with Theatre ADAD in schools and Pupil Referral Units to develop a performance designed to develop the skills needed to deal with rent arrears and eviction (see http://vimeo.com/19566186). Helping teachers We believe the capability approach will be helpful to teachers. It puts less stress on detailed legal knowledge, while emphasising practical skills like communication and being prepared. Of course it requires good learning materials, guidance and support – something we are actively developing. We have funding from the Baring Foundation to test and refine this approach with public legal education sessions in advice agencies and community organisations. We would very much like to do similar work in schools and would love to hear from anyone interested in doing similar work in schools. ▪
Look it up We don’t expect people to have detailed knowledge of the law, but rather the ability to find out what rights apply – when it matters. Don’t rely on what your friend or the bloke in the pub tells you – look it up.
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A bright idea Teaching a critical consideration of human rights as a basis for social justice and well-being In this article Gemma Yeomans argues that teachers should move beyond simply teaching about the content of human rights documents and their applicability to overseas contexts and instead give young people the chance to recognise the historical specificity of human rights and think about real issues on their doorstep. eaching about human rights has been welcomed and enthusiastically embraced by the Citizenship subject community. They are both a statutory curriculum requirement and also frequently used as measures of well-being, and social and political justice that have global currency. The human rights teaching I saw as an observer in classrooms, as a beginning student teacher, explored the subject in a number of ways. One was to approach them as a set of entitlements that related to different aspects of life, challenging the learners to categorise them and appreciate their concerns. This was an exploration of their content. Another approach was to take a set of case studies and challenge the learners to apply the schema of human rights and consider which were being violated. This took the exploration of content further and required the learners to consider their applicability in different ‘real-life’ circumstances. Another was to take a more student-centred approach and consider the idea of universal rights through the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN 1989). In all this teaching the principle of human rights as an entitlement to be demanded for others and ourselves was strongly advocated. However, the Citizenship national cur-
riculum asks us to see teaching about human rights as something that is not straightforward, acknowledging the presence of ‘contested areas’ (QCA 2007 p.29). Some might see the idea of checks and balances with regard to human rights as undermining their universal status and applicability, a status and applicability that should be permanently asserted to maintain their cutting edge in the honing of justice. There is a tension here. I wanted to design a three lesson sequence on human rights which embraced this critical consideration. I decided to devote the first lesson to the history of the establishment of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the United Nations in 1948. I had noted that the teaching about human rights that I had observed omitted to teach about the historical circumstances in which human rights came into being. My first lesson was a history lesson about the scale of the casualties of the Second World War, a specific reference to the Holocaust and a consideration of a Holocaust survivor story identified after a visit to the Holocaust Memorial Centre, Beth Shalom in Nottinghamshire. It ended with a consideration of the 32 articles of the UDHR and some categorising activities of the kind I had previously observed. The second lesson was the location of the main objective of the sequence. A proposition was projected on the whiteboard ‘Students should have to come to school on Saturday’. The pupils were invited to leave their desks and place themselves on a line across the classroom between an ‘agree’ and a ‘disagree’ position. This was a studentcentred starter in response to which, perhaps not surprisingly, most students disagreed. But, to their credit, some pupils did not immediately default to the ‘disagree’ position but placed themselves between the two and, when challenged to explain their decision,
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The Citizenship national curriculum asks us to see teaching about human rights as something that is not straightforward, acknowledging the presence of ‘contested areas’.
Gemma Yeomans recently completed a PGCE Citizenship at Sheffield Hallam University.
asked us to consider a number of issues, eg. whether this might mean time could be more flexibly used, whether it might promote higher achievement and other issues. The lesson then moved to a second statement, ‘People should have the freedom to say what they want’. This was a paraphrase of article 19 of the UDHR. There was a similar significant default to the ‘agree’ position which, when challenged, drew on the principle of free-speech. Having discussed examples of the denial of free-speech which the students knew about, the discussion was then re-considered in the light of a number of projected images (the images first had to be decoded) which problematised the idea of free speech (eg. religious hate statements, racist statements, statements of violence, homophobic statements). The students were invited to reconsider their original positioning on the agree-disagree continuum and explain their thinking. The lesson moved to a third statement, ‘Everyone’s privacy should be respected’, a paraphrase of article 12. This was subjected to initial judgement, reviewed, problematised through images that had to be interpreted and reviewed again. The last part of the lesson was desk-based. The first time I taught the sequence I ended the second lesson with a diamond-five activity where pupil groups were challenged to rank five human rights into what they considered to be degrees of importance. On reflection I questioned whether it is appropriate to judge one human right as more important than another. One might be more important than another in a specific situation, but none possess intrinsic importance more than another. Therefore, in the second opportunity to teach the lesson I presented four groups each with the two previously discussed human rights propositions, and one new proposition. The challenge was to review and record
in bullet points the class discussion of the two examples covered previously and then to discuss their particular human right proposition without the same teacher input. If the second lesson promoted student talk as a dimension of literacy, the last lesson built on discussion and moved on to individual writing. The four groups were reconstituted and reminded of the bullet-points that they had drawn up in the previous lesson. The groups were re-jigged so that members from one group had to visit other groups and explain how they had discussed their particular human rights proposition in the critical spirit that had been established in the whole class activities. The pupils then had an individual writing task to complete where they took one human right proposition from a menu, one example being, ‘There should be no restriction of people practising their religious beliefs’ with the pupils then being challenged to write an extended prose piece where they were required to express a nuanced judgement responding to the question. They had their bullet-point notes to draw on and an outline writing frame was provided to prompt those who sometimes struggle to start writing. They were also given a support resource reminding them of criteria which marks a good written discussion, which also contained key words and connectives. What I was pleased with in these lessons about human rights was that, whilst in no way undermining their status and importance, their nature and application were acknowledged to be problematic. Too often teaching about human rights is dogmatic and simplistic, with them being glorified as absolutist rights that must be applied, and where they are not, this being a subject of simple condemnation. My lessons tried to acknowledge the complications of their application and sought to teach a nuanced reflection on this. ▪
Too often teaching about human rights is dogmatic and simplistic, with them being glorified as absolutist rights that must be applied, and where they are not, this being a subject of simple condemnation.
Eleanor Roosevelt at the establishment of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
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No One Is From Here : Migration, history & citizenship Using the history of migration to encourage respectful thinking in children Julie Huson describes a series of lessons sheâ€™s developed to teach about migration and conflict in the USA and UK. She tackles head-on how a teacher committed to social justice can combine their ambitions for teaching for equality with the imperative to value childrenâ€™s responses and nurture their genuine engagement with contentious social issues. merica is a land founded on immigration, from British colonisers in the 16th and 17th centuries to Guatemalan and Nicaraguan migrants in 2012, the nation has been the place to pursue a dream, or at least to seek work for a decent wage and to eke out a comfortable standard of living. And almost always, intolerance, prejudice, and discrimination are what these new residents also find. American teachers are familiar with having to straddle both sides of this unpopular quandary and UK educators have become equally mired in an attempt to equitably instruct and defend those who have moved from elsewhere in hopes of bettering their chances at success. Statistics such as those provided by Migration Watch UK convey that over three million immigrants have arrived in Britain since 1997 (see migrationwatchuk.org). Additionally, the BBC reported in February that over 13,000 individuals came before the courts for committing racial and religious hate crimes in England and Wales last year. There is no specific evidence that these numbers are related to one another, but an assumption can be made that immigrants to the UK and USA find their arrival greeted with suspicion, guardedness, and outright hostility. As a teacher in the USA, and a researcher
Could historical examples be used to introduce children in the UK and the US to the idea that the fear and wariness people inevitably feel about the changes migration brings were very normal reactions?
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into the history of European settlement in America, I began to see strong parallels within the two nations, and wondered if using history with children could help put this issue of human migration into an understandable context of the constancy of human migration over time. Could historical examples be used to introduce children in the UK and the US to the idea that the fear and wariness people inevitably feel about the changes migration brings were very normal reactions? What if I was able to actually use historic examples and primary sources to show students that prejudice, discrimination, and intolerance have occurred in the past? The result might be the validation of these very real human emotions rather than, as is the case with much teaching about immigration, investing them with non-validity and guilt. Historical study could be used as a discipline to help children-citizens acknowledge their reactions by letting them make the discoveries, and then hopefully applying this to present day circumstances, thereby freeing them to develop more respectful attitudes toward immigration in a positive rather than a guilt-induced perspective. The Fulbright Commission liked this plan and its support allowed me to take a six month leave from my California school district to settle in Sheffield, South Yorkshire to write the curriculum and implement it in local primary school classrooms. The goal of this programme would be to have honest discussions with students exploring personal and historic examples in order to understand our human nature and the resulting wariness about large scale immigration in our own nations and neighbourhoods. Can children be taught to be historical thinkers? History is the vehicle that can assist educators in teaching the value of respect for
Julie Alice Huson is an educator, writer and recipient of the Distinguished Award in Teaching (Fulbright US/UK 2011-12). Email: email@example.com.
Children at Grenoside Primary School working on No One Is From Here
human beings. Could a curriculum be implemented that encouraged children to view people as ordinary humans in order to understand why and how people are always moving around and why people still make poor choices in the treatment of immigrants? Possibly more than anything else we teach, educators should be using the personalities and stories of history to help children prepare for citizenship in a global community that will need much careful management, cooperation between nations, and respect for individuals. It takes some bravery to acknowledge the ways in which people do wrong, as well as laud the parts our heroes play in inspiring exemplary behaviour. One of the implicit values of teaching history is that of having the opportunity to wonder about human beings and their motivations. When we present students with examples from history that help them make sense of complex social and cultural behaviours, as well as the intellectual and political environments of a historical era, we also provide multitudes of ways to look at human nature through a more realistic and historic lens. The primary school child especially, is still emerging as a human who can begin to think about his or her own emotions, and can project those feelings onto others. Teachers can use this empathetic nature of
thinking, proceeding carefully by controlling the historical sources, to encourage critical thinking and examination of understandable human behaviour. Can we as educators trust that children, when presented with the historical facts, will make sound reflections and draw their own conclusions about the past and why it shouldn’t be repeated in our 21st century global community? The curriculum I wrote, No One Is From Here, uses a methodology that encourages children to think about their own reactions to situations, and then apply these feelings to historical examples from primary sources, without relying on the teacher to make the obvious connections. Using this progression from personal to historical, and to a larger global consideration, I wanted children to develop their own attitudes of tolerance and understanding in immigration conflicts. Children appreciate honesty. The curriculum acknowledges that people are diverse, and children do notice skin colour, accents, clothing styles, and other indicators of dissimilarity. And yet, how often are students asked to disregard all this and echo cheerful slogans that claim “everyone is the same?” What’s wrong with me, a child might ask him or herself? I can see that people are different. Does that make me a bad person because I have noticed and even acted on it?
The primary school child especially, is still emerging as a human who can begin to think about his or her own emotions, and can project those feelings onto others.
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Theme: Justice No One Is From Here... / Julie Alice Huson Gaining historical perspective on migration I developed a short quiz about animals native to England or America. While students were discovering that certain common animals thought to be native had actually been transplanted from other countries, I was able to help them explore the concept of “native” and “non-native.” I asked children, “How long does an animal have to live in a place in order to be considered native?” Not surprisingly, none of the children was able to support a reasonable response. Nor were their classroom teachers! The use of the word native became unsettled, became something of a variable in successive lessons. Children could connect from the animal quiz and consider the possibility that the word ‘native’ was inconsistently perceived at best, and possibly non-existent in the extreme. The answers that mattered most were the ones voiced and unvoiced as all children participated in reflection on the word ‘native’, which was the real goal of the lesson. They were ready to talk about whether any group of people then can be considered ‘native.’ When educators use history to teach that dramatic migration waves caused wars and conflicts over land possession, power, and wealth, they help children see the underlying mistrust of immigrants, and have also encouraged students to make their own discoveries about the constancy of migration and the dangers of discrimination throughout history. At the very least, what they have done is continued to keep the door of questioning open, allowing children the opportunity to honestly discuss the very real human emotions of change: worry, fear, mistrust, and prejudice. No one likes the word ‘prejudice,’ but we should acknowledge the reality of its presence, talk about it with children, and make a plan for moving on in the relationships among so-called natives and migrating peoples. Curriculum that doesn’t result in long term attitude change In studying the history of Britain, I came to the realisation that the constant migration and resulting settlement, the degree of integration or exclusion of people was sounding increasingly familiar as I read
chronologically through the eras. I wondered if children asked what I was asking: why does this keep happening repeatedly? Schools face increased pressure to use the classroom to address many social needs. Certainly, at the top of the list of added issues to be tackled by schools is that of racial prejudice and the bullying behaviour arising from large scale and sudden immigration influxes to more static communities. History is the obvious vehicle to help students explore the messiness of human behaviour over time. Can open discussions about these conflicts between racial and ethnic groups foster informed global citizens who have been educated deeply enough in humanity’s past wrongs to vow to avoid making more of them in the future? An obvious outcome, of course, would be a need for understanding and respect for human beings as individuals, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or belief. If teachers start and end there, using human nature and historical events as evidence, it becomes clear to children that the endless clash of cultural differences and struggles for belongingness go back as far as recorded time. When viewed this way, our differences become dignified, and the resulting struggles not unlike the wars in history. Does that mean we want to perpetuate a tolerance for ethnic and cultural conflicts just because “’it’s always been like that?” No, not at all! A child who learns the ugly truths about chattel slavery, or the brutal extermination of Jews knows these are things no one wants to excuse or repeat. In developing the curriculum No One is From Here, I structured the learning so the message would be this: the issue today’s people struggle with, was what yesterday’s folks struggled with too. The teaching goal was to emphasise respect for human rights, and to encourage our youngest global citizens to have informed awareness of a culture of intolerance. Could we be brave enough to talk about how human and normal these feelings can be? Can we avoid heaping blame on our students and openly acknowledge that people over time have shared this predicament? How we proceed after that conversation would be easier, and certainly more honest. Change in attitudes could then begin to occur.
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Children appreciate honesty. The curriculum acknowledges that people are diverse, and children do notice skin colour, accents, clothing styles, and other indicators of dissimilarity. And yet, how often are students asked to disregard all this and echo cheerful slogans that claim ‘everyone is the same?’
The curriculum The programme was designed to offer a selection of lessons, discussions, and stories for teachers to use in a flexible manner aimed at upper primary and lower secondary students. The children work at problem solving alone or in groups. Other lessons explore more deeply the concepts human beings have about preferring, choosing, and favouring. Later lessons in the programme use primary source documents from letters and advertisements in history showing children attitudes of prejudice coupled with sudden and large scale migration trends. Throughout the curriculum there are suggestions to teachers to implement the lesson with clear information but minimal direction and lecturing. Encouraging children to do much of the talking, and dignifying the comments with attentive listening empowers children to do more speaking and more thinking. The climate of the classroom becomes cooperative and less competitive. Making discoveries is a more significant goal than merely “getting the answer right.” In positive educational environments, children direct much of their learning guided by curiosity. Study of peoples of the past generates more questions than it answers. Because rarely can one “right” answer be established, the study of history is an arena in which many possible answers can be “right.” This is the appropriate environment for equal opportunities in learning. Historians ask questions. It is the asking of the questions and the reflection on what the questions represent that teachers need to be mindful of when giving children historical information to consider. Historical events have no single narrative so our purpose for teaching our children how to be fair global citizens should use history to question and to wonder as we search for plausible answers. When human beings question, they have not yet decided. This leaves them open to accepting new possibilities. The power of using history to explore the future way citizens interact and cooperate with each other is an available and honest way to question and learn. ▪
The issue today’s people struggle with, was what yesterday’s folks struggled with too. Could we be brave enough to talk about how human and normal these feelings can be? Can we avoid heaping blame on our students and openly acknowledge that people over time have shared this predicament?
A Lesson from No One Is From Here ‘Fruit Salad’ Focus Question: What do you do when you don’t know what it is? Ages: 8 to 10 Time needed: 30 minutes Supplies: Two different kinds of pictures showing bowls of fruit salad (see lesson) Students are given pictures of a familiar and tasty bowl of fruit. As children discuss the pictures the teacher asks children to discuss or write about how they would go about eating it. Comments about what would be eaten first or last, or what would not be eaten are all acceptable responses. After a reasonable period of time, the pictures of the fruit are taken away and replaced with pictures of a similar looking fruit salad, but this bowl holds a large, wrinkled, seedy, brown and dry fig in the middle of the fruit. The focus question is introduced and discussed as children talk about and write on their feelings when faced now with a very strange looking food in the midst of a familiar and enjoyable treat. The students should all be heard as the discussion takes place, and children should be free to talk about likes and dislikes, but the educator can especially emphasise comments in which children discuss feelings of discomfort or uneasiness about having something unknown in the second bowl of fruit. Some children may know, or ask, about the dried fig, but most will not like the look of it and their comments will be clearly heard by all. This is desirable for the purpose of this lesson. No final conclusion is made, but discussion on the question is important. Students may talk about the saying ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’, but the teacher need not suggest it. Children should be reassured about how normal it is to be uneasy about things which are unfamiliar. This lesson should be followed with an activity or history exploration of responses to differences, so that students can make the connection themselves about treatment of people based on appearance and unfamiliarity. This lesson lends itself well to group work so that conversations are broad and thought provoking for all children.
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The impact of social media on campaigns for justice Tim Pinto discusses some of the ways in which teachers can use social media as a means to teach about justice. He provides some useful links to online resources and highlights the valuable role of Citizenship teachers in helping young people read those resources critically. arl Fisch is an American mathematician who has become an internet phenomenon with a series of You Tube videos entitled ‘Shift Happens’ (http://youtu. be/6ILQrUrEWe8). In these five minute videos, Fisch illustrates through a series of slides, how the power balance has changed between new and traditional media with the growth and development of the internet. Although the 4.0 version of his video is very US-centric and is looking slightly dated (it is three years old now) it does point out that the way in which we use media is changing and that people now have an unprecedented ability to set news and government agendas. In terms of justice, this means that people are able to organise social and political campaigns without making a single placard as social media can mobilise ideas, not just in one country but around the world. A popular example of this is Twitter which now has more than 10 million users in the UK. Campaigns for justice In 2011, the political upheaval in the Middle East saw social media being used to share information from opposition groups about the internal revolution taking place. In Egypt, it began with workers setting up antigovernment pages on Facebook which soon attracted 60,000 followers. Those who set up the pages on the popular social network-
ing site were surprised by their popularity and within two weeks, pro-democracy demonstrations took place and the security forces were sent out to find those who set up the site, with persistent allegations of beatings and torture. It comes as no surprise that information was able to spread so quickly, as a survey for the company Spot On Public Relations shows that there are more subscribers to Facebook than the number of newspapers sold in these Arab countries (www.bbc. co.uk/news/10150748). An early example of the power of Twitter closer to home was the Jan Moir article in the Daily Mail in 2009 which centred around the supposedly ‘sleazy’ death of former Boyzone singer, Stephen Gately (http://bit. ly/8Q6S5M). Within hours of the article being published, trending on Twitter called for Moir to apologise and celebrities such as Stephen Fry called for people to complain to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC). Over 25,000 people contacted the PCC and Moir was forced to apologise. Teaching about social media and justice For schools, the use of social media has often brought problems associated with cyberbullying. In many ways educators see it as an unjust and problem-creating tool where a perpetrator can carry out online abuse anonymously. However, there is an important role for schools to teach about and use social media, to show pupils the power and influence it can have upon society (see Helen Blachford’s article in edition 31). For Citizenship teachers, there are clear links between campaigns for justice and social media which can be highlighted in areas such as democracy, rights and diversity. Many political organisations and charities use social media to highlight particular campaigns and causes. There are numerous resources available on social media sites to
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The way in which we use media is changing and people now have an unprecedented ability to set news and government agendas.
Tim Pinto is an Associate Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University in addition to a number of other roles. He previously worked as a teacher in mainstream secondary citizenship education for many years.
support teachers looking at issues based around social justice. A recent example can be found with the Sound Off for Justice campaign (www.facebook.com/soundoffjustice) which brings together charities such as Amnesty International, Oxfam, Friends of the Earth and cafod. The campaign aims to protect the rights of corporate victims in developing countries and has a wealth of resources on its Facebook page for students to examine how organisations can use social media to influence opinion. There is also a traditional website for the campaign (http:// soundoffforjustice.org) which again embeds social media resources such as a blog and Twitter into the main themes of the site. Amnesty International also provides resources for volunteers based on online activism (www.amnesty.org/en/activism-center/ activism-tools). These are a series of social media resources which can be downloaded and used to promote causes supported by the organisation under the banner of ‘e-activism’. This can show students how the nature of campaigns for justice has changed and developed in recent decades. Indeed, participation in activism can now occur through a mobile device and has even been developed into smartphone apps by Greenpeace, Oxfam and Amnesty International, each providing apps to support their causes for justice. Whilst there is rich content on the internet of examples of social media being used to promote justice, it is important to develop students’ critical thinking and enquiry skills using examples of websites and popular social networking sites. One illustration of this
danger comes when typing ‘Martin Luther King’ into Google and examining the search results. Within the top ten results the site http://martinlutherking.org appears. Looking at the landing page, there are a number of statements painting a far from positive picture of the achievements of the US civil rights campaigner. Using the site www. whois.sc users can find out who has set up a domain name for an internet site. Typing in the domain name for the earlier site about Martin Luther King it becomes clear that the site has been created by a US far right group, ‘Stormfront’. This example shows the importance of citizenship education in ensuring that students approach the internet with a critical edge, being ready to consider the provenance of any site that enters the discourse of politics and justice on the internet. It is very easy for an individual to set up a Facebook page and attract an audience. Students need to be taught to enquire into and evaluate the content of any site for pernicious, misguided or incorrect statements. The explosion of social media over the last five years has meant that any individual or group can seek redress to an unjust situation by voicing their opinion through a social networking site or blog. Social media has now become an important campaigning tool and it is important that schools include this dimension of learning when they are developing the Citizenship curriculum. As this technology develops further, so will the means by which people champion specific causes. The smartphone in a person’s pocket will be a powerful tool to promote justice. ▪
As this technology develops further, so will the means by which people champion specific causes. The smartphone in a person’s pocket will be a powerful tool to promote justice.
Pictured above: Within weeks of the establishment of antigovernment social networks in Egypt pro-democracy protests were taking place.
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The possibility of teaching justice In this reflection Gary Clemitshaw ponders the fact that the Citizenship programme of study frames democracy and justice as a single core concept. He argues that there are differences and tensions between them, and reminds us that ‘justice’ can be treated as an abstract benchmark against which reality can be judged. In doing so he provides a more theoretical companion to Don Rowe’s introductory article, in which he reminds us to always return to the key question – is it fair?
mobilised, but there exists the possibility of injustice even within these concepts. This possibility might be considered as the limits of teaching about justice ‘systems’, and the dangers of democracy being carelessly invoked as justice. This project of educating future citizens about justice places its main emphasis on knowledge and understanding about laws and justice systems, the criminal law and civil law, pan-national law, eg. the role of the European Union in law making and arbitration, legal rights and those declarations and conventions associated with the United Nations which relate to human rights and children’s rights which have been widely adopted as international law. he policy and curriculum docuMany Citizenship teachers have commitments that support citizenship ted much energy to this worthwhile learneducation give the concept of ing. Through imaginative curriculum design justice an important place in our and pedagogic experimentation, teaching teaching and learning objectives. pupils about the nature and detail of the The current national curriculum laws by which we are bound, the processes programme of study (QCA 2007) of law-making, the application of law, have states that pupils learn: been promoted through active learning strat• about their rights, responsibili- egies such as role play exploring the work of ties, duties and freedoms – and Parliament in making law, mock trials which laws, justice and democracy; explore the application of law, out of school • that justice is fundamental visits to magistrates courts to consider the to a democratic society and exploring the force of law and case studies which highlight role of law in maintaining order and circumstances where the summons to law resolving conflict; becomes a duty and circumstances where • about the role that citizens can take within legally enforceable human rights can be seen the political and justice systems in the UK. to have been breached. It includes references to freedom as part of However, the policy and curriculum democracy; fairness and the rule of law as documents move into a different realm part of justice; power, authority and account- and suggest a different focus for teaching ability; and defines one of the key concepts and learning when they call for children to of the subject as ‘Democracy and Justice’. be taught to understand ‘natural justice’, We live within a discourse which read‘fairness’, ‘equality’, ‘social justice’ and ily equates these two concepts which we are ‘challeng(ing) injustice’. Here we move into called upon to see as natural partners. This is a different order of social discourse and the a commitment that can be supported whilst challenge for teachers is different. These the terms are carefully considered and justly injunctions are not making a reference to a 22 / Teaching Citizenship / Issue 34 / Autumn 2012 / www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
Whilst laws, legal systems and legal processes can be taught, they still, arguably, possibly, fall short of teaching justice.
Gary Clemitshaw teaches PGCE Secondary Citizenship at Sheffield Hallam University.
system, nor a right, but to a responsibility that is difficult to calculate. It might be pointed out that this realm, whilst present, is given less weighted attention in the policy and curriculum documents of the Citizenship national curriculum. The Crick Report was very committed to promoting political knowledge in the form of political literacy, as an essential and even primary function of citizenship education, and as a pre-requisite for the informed civic republican active participation that it also wished to promote. It was, despite its emphasis on participation, still, in many ways, a prescription for instruction. In this way the Crick Report sought understandably, and to a degree legitimately, to bind future citizens to the institutions and processes that characterise a particular construction of sovereignty and law that claims to be a democratic UK, holding a place in an international community in which the notions of freedom, rights and equality have a particular currency and, in recent circumstances, a relatively stable presence. However, whilst laws, legal systems and legal processes can be taught, they still, arguably, possibly, fall short of teaching justice. We have to be mindful that reference to legal systems, codes and the calculations of prescription and punishment that they enforce and demand can never be a full account of justice. It is possible for legal systems to be existent, legitimate, transparently applied, and yet fall short of justice. It is possible for a legally constituted authority to commit injustice. There are many easily referenced examples. It should be a permanent consideration that it is possible for a democratic system to fall short of justice, not necessarily by a democratic shortcoming but by a shortcoming that might be implicit in democracy. What we consider to be demo-
cratic principles, procedures and processes must not be blindly dressed as universally applicable and uncritically virtuous. This needs to be considered when we place justice as a central concept in our teaching. Justice cannot be reduced to a system or a code. Even that tribunal of justice offered by the notion of human rights is one that can be fatally compromised. Not natural, inalienable or universal in any transcendent sense, human rights were devised in the aftermath of the Second World War by the victorious powers, principally the United States, as a way of justifying the act and the cost of victory. Whilst they can and do offer benchmarks for considering the well-being of individuals in relation to sovereign power, their reference can be fatally compromised. In the discourse of international politics and diplomacy this can happen when reference to human rights contains the injustice of cultural insensitivity or ideological arrogance. Furthermore, economic and political opportunism can sometimes be masked in an overt democratic injustice which cites freedom with a cynical gaze or a promiscuous ignorance. Justice cannot be based on reference to a system, nor by reference to a calculation. Justice cannot be achieved, only sought. Justice (paraphrasing the words of Jacques Derrida will help make the point) lies in the moment of the incalculable responsibility for the decision and immeasurable commitment to the predicament of the other. Justice can only have a possibility in the responsibility for and debt to the other, in the democracy which is always to come. This calls for a different realm of teaching and learning than that which simply seeks to instruct and to bind. It might imply a deep exploration of fallacy and responsibility. â–Ş
Justice lies in the moment of the incalculable responsibility for the decision and immeasurable commitment to the predicament of the other. Justice can only have a possibility in the responsibility for and debt to the other, in the democracy which is always to come.
Students seize the chance to look in a police van at a magistratesâ€™ court open day. (Photo: The Magistratesâ€™ Association.)
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Feature / Using statistics
The summer riots 2011 Lessons to be learnt James Nicholson and his colleagues introduce a useful resource they have developed in order to make statistics more accessible to students investigating complex social and political issues. Whilst their website includes several examples, here they focus on statistics as an unexpected source of evidence for students investigating the riots in 2011 and in doing so they provide an ideal lesson plan for teachers exploring how the criminal justice system responded to the outburst of violence and looting.
Figure 1: Illustrative table taken from a Ministry of Justice Statistical Bulletin
In early August 2011 there was a four day period characterised by serious public disorder in a number of English cities. There was considerable public debate about the reasons for the disorder. Was it because of an unlawful killing by the police or outrage at political actions targeted on poor people? There was also debate about the profile of those involved in the disorder. Were they hardened criminals simply being opportunistic, or law abiding citizens driven to extreme political actions? The Ministry of Justice published a special Statistical Bulletin on September 15 2011, which generated public debate, and considerable political commentary from all sides. They have since published four further Statistical Bulletins, in October 2011 and then in February, June and August 2012 (downloadable from www.justice. gov.uk/statistics/criminal-justice/ public-disorder-august-11). In
principle, this sort of data offers a significant opportunity for a detailed exploration of real social issues in schools. However, the way the data is presented poses real problems for pupils. Figure 1 (see below) reproduces Table 9 from the Ministry of Justice Statistical Bulletin, and shows the number of offences committed by different groups for the 12 months from April 2010 to March 2011. As well as the fact that an individual table is inherently difficult to work with, there is an additional problem in that pupils need to work with multiple tables to build up a good understanding of the evidence. These data can, however, be made available for use in schools in an accessible form. Data from multiple tables can be synthesised, and it can be presented in a way that makes it easier for pupils to explore for themselves. Figure 2 (facing page) provides an example.
Table 9: Criminal histories of suspects involved in the public disorder between 6th August and 9th August 2011 England and Wales Juveniles Previous offences None 1 2 3-5 6-10 11-14 15-49 50 or more
Total number of offenders (100%)
Percentages and numbers of offenders All persons
Male 44.4 14.0 9.7 16.1 9.7 2.5 3.6 0.0
Female 49.1 7.5 11.3 13.2 7.5 5.7 5.7 0.0
Total 45.2 13.0 9.9 15.7 9.3 3.0 3.9 0.0
Male 20.8 9.5 6.7 14.7 15.3 7.3 19.6 6.1
Female 37.9 9.8 6.8 12.1 14.4 3.0 9.8 6.1
Total 22.6 9.5 6.8 14.4 15.2 6.8 18.6 6.1
Male 25.6 10.4 7.3 15.0 14.2 6.3 16.4 4.9
Female 41.1 9.2 8.1 12.4 12.4 3.8 8.6 4.3
Total 27.4 10.2 7.4 14.7 14.0 6.0 15.4 4.8
Analysis of criminal histories was not possible for all offenders, as the necessary information to link to the Police National Computer was not centrally available for all offenders (mainly Date of Birth).
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James Nicholson was a mathematics teacher for many years; Professor Jim Ridgway has a background in cognitive psychology and Sean McCusker works on the technical aspects of visualisations. They are based at the SMART Centre, Durham University. Email comments, or feedback on using the materials, to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Figure 2: Comparison of criminal histories of people convicted during the riots, and people convicted over a 12 month period
Figure 2 shows a comparison of the information immediately available about the criminal histories of male juveniles convicted during the public disorder, and a comparison group of all male juveniles convicted during the 12 months up to March 2011. The sliders allow users to look at females or both genders combined and also adults only or all ages together. The position of the Time, Sex and Age variables can be interchanged (by dragging and dropping the variable names to the desired positions) to facilitate direct visible comparisons between males and females or adults and juveniles. See www.dur.ac.uk/ smart.centre/nuffield/ to download the data visualisation and related teaching materials. There are a number of related data sets accessible by clicking on the tabs at the top, for example figure 3 (see overleaf) shows a comparison of the average length of custodial sentences handed down in the
Crown Court for various offences during the public disorder and during the 12 months up to March 2011. The slider allows the data for cases appearing in a Magistrates Court to be seen, and again the variable names can be moved. In figure 2, the Previous Offences label is fixed in position because of the nature of the data to be displayed but in figure 3, all three labels can be displayed in any position. Figure 4 (see overleaf) shows the comparison between sentences at the Crown Court and Magistrates Courts for different types of offence. Internet searches about the public disorder turn up an enormous amount of information, of very variable relevance and also very variable quality and reliability, and it can be a daunting task for a teacher to try to sift through and identify materials which will provide a sensible overview. Newspapers and other media produced a wealth of material
Many of the public pronouncements, especially in the immediate aftermath of the disorder, provided over-simplistic commentaries on the data relating to a complex situation.
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Feature / Using statistics The summer riots 2011: Lessons to be learnt / James Nicholson Figure 3: comparison of lengths of custodial sentences (1)
Figure 4: comparison of lengths of custodial sentences
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in the aftermath of the riots. The most comprehensive and easily accessible source is provided by The Guardian who have a dedicated section of their website (see www. guardian.co.uk/uk/series/readingthe-riots and figure 5, below). Many of the public pronouncements, especially in the immediate aftermath of the disorder, provided over-simplistic commentaries on the data relating to a complex situation. The use of the data visualisation allows teachers and students to gain access to a richer understanding of what the data says, which in turn provides a basis for evaluating the various commentaries. Because the interfaces are intuitive to use, and the exploration is relatively quick, we believe it can add something substantial to any classroom based work on the public disorder, and can provide an extra dimension for students who are conducting research in this area. In so doing
we see a real opportunity to engage students in reasoning with contemporary evidence, and to change the perception that a lot of students and teachers have that statistics is boring and irrelevant. The Nuffield Foundation has funded a project, Reasoning from Evidence, which is developing data visualisation tools to support the teaching of Sociology in courses for 16 â€“ 18 year olds, but the tools have much wider application across many subjects and wider age ranges. Specifically, the visualisations will often be relevant to Citizenship, and because of the ease of use of the interfaces, they will often be relevant for use with all secondary age pupils. Other free teaching materials such as interactive displays on alcohol use by youth, poverty, educational performance, and various aspects of health can be viewed at www.dur.ac.uk/ smart.centre using the links on the left to freeware and to Nuffield. â–Ş
The use of the data visualisation allows teachers and students to gain access to a richer understanding of what the data says, which in turn provides a basis for evaluating the various commentaries.
Acknowledgement This research was funded by the Nuffield Foundation Grant edu/33713. Views expressed here are entirely those of the authors.
Figure 5: The Guardianâ€™s web archive on the public disorder. This shot of how the site looked on July 20 2012 is reproduced by kind permission of Guardian News & Media Ltd, 2012.
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Defending children’s rights act Conference Keynote July 2012 Dr Maggie Atkinson, the Children’s Commissioner, provided the keynote speech for this year’s ACT Conference. She provided a rousing defence of children’s rights and of citizenship education in promoting them. Here are some edited highlights from her speech, you can read the full version on the ACT website.
and they are retained even when a child has done something wrong. The thousands I have met in doing this job tell me if they have rights, so does everybody else. They consider we are mutually responsible for assuring these rights for each other. Those who work in the Office of the Children’s Commissioner and I meet children and young people in some very tough places, some clearly damaged by what has happened in their lives, y role rests on the notion who can explain that if we grab our that England’s children rights, irrespective of or overriding and young people need the rights of others, it is unlikely we advocacy from a national will enjoy what we seize. champion charged to lead Good Citizenship programmes debates about them from a should lie at the heart of the position of objective moral child’s development of personal, purpose. The job, both philosophical and moral frames currently and in the future, of reference. As children often concerns all 11.8 million tell me, Citizenship taught well is children in England, but a favourite area of study because with a particular regard it teaches them to argue and to for the most vulnerable. I must seek think critically. Taught badly, or children and young people’s views relegated to an afterthought by on how they might inform policy those who construct the timetable making, and reflect them to those and staff the curriculum, it is their in power. least liked experience. Done badly, The Commissioner’s role in their scorn about it is hard to listen future will monitor how well the to, but surely we should listen to country, in all policy areas, fulfils the it, because if this part of what they promises it makes to children and learn is done badly and they have young people as a signatory of the no alternative support frameworks United Nations Convention on the at home, surely their views of issues Rights of the Child. This is the UN’s such as political literacy, community most signed international human and participation, the rights agenda, rights treaty. We are bound by it. equality and diversity, will be tainted The basic premise, best summed up as they emerge as young adults. by Article 2, is that all these rights Society can ill afford that. are a given. They are not waiting I want a system where children to be earned, there is no hurdle and young people are taken seriously children must clear to win them, in the running of their schools. This 28 / Teaching Citizenship / Issue 34 / Autumn 2012 / www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
means all adults, inside and beyond the classroom, role-modelling active citizenship, enabling children’s and young people’s voices to be heard. This includes engaging them in robust debate, getting them involved in self-evaluation, in really influential school councils, in decision making. In schools that take their active roles seriously, pupils come to the table responsibly, representing their peers to adults they respect and whom they recognise have a keen interest in their wellbeing.
Good Citizenship programmes should lie at the heart of the child’s development of personal, philosophical and moral frames of reference. As children often tell me, Citizenship taught well is a favourite area of study because it teaches them to argue and to think critically. The Children and Families Bill is due to be debated in Parliament in less than a year and likely to become law in 2014 if all goes to plan. The future Commissioner will monitor how well the country fulfils the promises we made to children and young people by signing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. I invite you, in your classrooms and beyond, to join in with that vital work. ▪
Aidan Doyle, Hannah Mitchell and Ciara Scott are members of Harpenden Town Youth Council.
Peer teaching for political literacy Members of the Harpenden Youth Council outline their role in peer-led political literacy teaching and illustrate how Youth Councils could provide a useful resource for schools.
bill is passed and the role of the Monarchy. There were three parties on the day, The Mars Party, Fruit Pastille Party and The Malteser Party. Every student had a Post-It Note under their chair which represented a party. We turned half the hall into Westminster and the other into the House of Lords. Three lucky students had a sweet t has been said that young people in Britain under their chair, which meant they could run for Prime today are disengaged with politics, an issue Minister. Every pupil was voted into parliament and able brought very much into the forefront of public to represent their constituency. The newly voted Prime consciousness by the riots of last summer. Minister then picked their Cabinet who were brought to However rather than questioning why young the front with a representative item to give a palpable people are not engaged with politics, we visual element to the presentation. We then showed how would ask whether politics is engaged with a bill is passed by moving it around the hall in the same young people? Furthermore, we would quesway that a bill would be assessed by Westminster, the tion whether the level of political education House of Lords and then the Queen. students receive is sufficient. In a time of budget cuts and structural changes, we find the curriculum is being re-evaluated again as politicians seek guidance about what to keep or remove from the curriculum. This is an area which concerns Youth Councils around the country and one which Harpenden Youth Town Council has sought to address locally. We believe Citizenship and political education are vital. Our argument does not focus on greater recognition of Politics as an academic subject, but rather that each child should have a greater The feedback we have received has been very positive. understanding of themselves as a political individual, One teacher who was present told us that he had learnt of the decisions being made on their behalf, and of the more about the structure of politics in this country in the political decisions they will be entitled and encouraged twenty or so minutes of our presentation than he had in to make in the not too distant future – in short, how to be his entire career in the civil service! responsible citizens. The students we engaged with were enthusiastic As a Youth Council we decided to do something and able to respond to questions demonstrating a real about our concerns and developed our own political interest in the content of the lesson. It seems clear to us education classes. We aimed to bring an element of fun therefore, that the issue is not so much young people’s to a subject that over the years has developed an unfair responsibility to engage with politics, but how schools stereotype amongst many young people. We wanted to can address their responsibility to ensure students remove stigmas such as ‘boring,’ ‘complicated’ and ‘irdevelop an understanding of themselves within relevant’ from the minds of our peers when they think politics today. about politics. We wanted to promote political education One of the marks of a great teacher is a passion for through a series of interactive seminars that engaged their subject, and we believe our passion contributed to pupils, showing them that politics was not only interest- the success of this lesson. As a fundamental part of sociing, but how it was relevant to them. ety, politics will never cease to be important and as long Our first lesson plan included explanations of how as there are people passionate about politics, there will an election is run, who makes up the Cabinet, how a be those willing to strive for the education of others. ▪
Our argument does not focus on greater recognition of Politics as an academic subject, but rather that each child should have a greater understanding of themselves as a political individual…
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Stephen Fairbrass is PGCE Citizenship Course Leader at Bradford College and co-author (with Kate Brown) of The Citizenship Teacher’s Handbook (2009).
Can you make the EU interesting? A drop down Citizenship Day at Bradford Academy In this brief case study, Stephen Fairbrass describes a simulation activity that enthused Year Ten about the role of the EU.
a television news broadcast (we’ve no idea where the trainees found it) warning of the spread of the virus. A police officer in full riot gear (a real one, PC ‘James’ as he is geners part of our extended ally known is a school liaison police partnership arrangements, officer who works closely with the for the past four years the Academy) appeared and ‘arrested’ entire PGCE Citizenship a teacher suspected of carrying the cohort from Bradford virus and escorted her away. Surgical College has spent a week, face masks were quickly donned by close to the beginning the staff and trainees present in the of their training, based hall. Students were off their guard, at Bradford Academy (a nobody quite knew if this was ‘for specialist school for Citireal’, but then another box of masks zenship and Enterprise). appeared, and every student was orThis year the trainees were dered to put one on, before listening posed a challenge, to plan carefully to instructions to dismiss and prepare a one day Citizenship to classrooms where they would be event, based on the EU, for the whole ‘quarantined until it was safe’. of Y10 (180 students). Alongside regular specialist Citizenship lessons, the occasional spectacular event can raise the subject’s profile and provide a focus from which future timetabled lessons can develop. The challenge to the PGCE trainees was a real one; how to make the EU, a topic often considered the hardest to teach and the least interesting on the Citizenship GCSE syllabus, engaging? The trainees hit upon the idea of a deadly virus, particularly harmful to teenagers, sweeping through Europe as a connecting theme. On the day of the event it appeared to the young people gathered in the lecture theatre that a rather dull and boring powerpoint presentation and lecture was on offer as an introduction; but a few minutes after beginning the screen went blank and a siren sounded, quickly followed by the screen lighting up again with 30 / Teaching Citizenship / Issue 34 / Autumn 2012 / www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
In the classrooms minds were put at rest and students were quickly engaged in role play based workshops, led by the Citizenship trainees, each one exploring a different dimension of the crisis. One workshop focused on human rights in the EU, beginning with the right to freedom of movement and considering whether this and other rights might need to be suspended temporarily. A second focused on the idea that a vaccine had been developed in one EU country, but there were insufficient supplies to serve the whole of the EU; students role played MEPs from various countries debating and selecting a ‘fair’ formula for distribution from a range of options. The third workshop focused on strategic energy supplies and related issues; students in a ‘war room’ with a large map making decisions. At the end of the day a plenary pulled it all together, and students left with ‘goodie bags’ including EU diaries, EU maps, and booklets such as Young Person’s Guide to the EU kindly supplied by the Leeds office of Europe Direct. Andy Thorpe (ITE Coordinator at the Academy and Citizenship teacher) organised logistics on the day and Corinne Hannah and Shasta Khan (Citizenship teachers at the Academy) supported the trainees with classroom management; all three of these are, of course, previous graduates of our PGCE Citizenship course. Was the day successful? Well we’re already planning a similar event for next year, and our view is that both the students of Bradford Academy and our trainees benefited enormously from the day. ▪
Professor Ian Davies teaches at the University of York and is the author of numerous books and articles, most of which explore issues related to teaching and learning about contemporary society, with a particular focus on citizenship education. Email: email@example.com.
Creating Citizenship Communities In his third and final article on a major national research project Ian Davies reports on recently completed research with young people, exploring their views on community cohesion and citizenship. The results provide some food for thought about how young people experience citizenship education and how they relate to their communities. his research brief focuses on young people’s understandings of community and experiences of citizenship education, community involvement and community cohesion. It concentrates on the fieldwork conducted in eight schools in England by the Department of Education, University of York. The qualitative phase of this project was conducted to raise understanding about young people’s views and explore links and discrepancies between current practice of citizenship education and community involvement in schools and young people’s perceptions and experiences in relation to community, community involvement and community cohesion. Understandings of community Young people’s understanding of community varied within and across schools. Community was understood as a group of people with a shared identity, common purpose, interests and strong ties. Schools, youth clubs, Facebook, sports teams, friendship groups, neighbourhoods, gay/lesbian, religious/ethnic groups and the police were described as communities. Groups of people coming together for a single event (eg. the Royal wedding or the Olympic Games) were also described as communities. Notions of community were associated with civic engagement and the sustainability of a peaceful society. However, some young people felt that communities should not always be associated with ‘do-good’ behaviour and good causes. Although all young people expressed strong beliefs against racism, some understood racist groups as communities because of their shared beliefs and practices.
Sense of belonging Most young people felt they belong to their immediate communities, including the school and local communities. In our study, young people in deprived areas and disadvantaged schools did not feel a sense of belonging, neither to their school nor their local communities. Young people’s sense of belonging to the European, international and even the British community was very weak and strongly associated with parental influence and education, socio-economic status and the schools’ strategies to promote citizenship education and community cohesion. Experiences of citizenship education and community engagement Most young people reported that citizenship education focuses more on the curriculum and less on building relations with the community. Young people’s experiences of citizenship education clearly demonstrate an emphasis on discussion of topical issues (eg. racism, cultural and religious diversity, health attitudes, the riots and civic behaviour); some attention to extra curriculum activities, field-trips and projects, particularly in schools in affluent areas; and very rarely action in the community, such as visiting an old people’s home or taking part in international festivals aiming to celebrate diversity and difference. Active engagement of parents and families in community action and support for disadvantaged students was weak in nearly all the schools participating in the project’s qualitative phase. Citizenship education and community cohesion Although teachers’ practices and school policies aimed at fostering a sense of community and promoting community cohesion, young people’s experiences suggest that citizenship strategies were not always effective. Some young people discussed tensions and divisions among some ethnic and religious communities in schools with a diverse student population. When prompted to discuss their views and experiences further, most young people reported lack of interest and knowledge of diversity and difference in schools and the wider British society. Many young people felt that community cohesion on a local and national level is weak and incompatible with the diversity of languages, religions and ethnicities in Britain. This might indicate a need for schools to employ citizenship education and community cohesion strategies that promote positive interactions and a sense of togetherness among young people from different backgrounds. ▪
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Democracy, participation and identity A curriculum proposal for Dutch education Given the ongoing discussion about the future of Citizenship in the national curriculum, international comparisons become even more useful. Jeroen Bron and Eddie van Vliet consider curriculum developments in the Netherlands and how this alternative model might help us think about how to build on our own practice. his article consists of three parts: firstly, an outline of the curriculum content; secondly, a table presenting the main goals of Citizenship education in The Netherlands; and thirdly, teaching ideas and practices. But we will start with some background information. In the Netherlands schools are obliged to promote active citizenship and the social integration of learners in Dutch society. The government, however, neither prescribes content nor how schools should implement citizenship education. Nevertheless, schools are accountable to the inspectorate for the way citizenship is offered (Inspectorate of Education, 1996). The Dutch Ministry of Education commissioned the National Institute for Curriculum Development (SLO), to develop a curriculum proposal that can inspire schools in making their own curriculum choices. Also, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs requested SLO to integrate human rights education (HRE) into the citizenship curriculum (Bron & Vliet, 2012), although HRE has no official status in the Dutch education system (Bron & Thijs, 2011). SLO’s curriculum proposal, completed in 2012, is not prescriptive but meant to be inspiring. It contains recommendations that allow for interpretation and control by schools. The proposal is mainly
Because it is written for primary education and the first phase of secondary education: learners from the very nature 4- 16 years of age. of democracy Content that there In the curriculum proposal SLO has adopted are different and worked out the views of the Council Europe and the Dutch government. The interests and of Council of Europe states that citizenship and differences human rights education should be about “democracy, human rights and the rule of of opinion, law as well as (…) the prevention of human it is crucial rights violations” (Council of Europe, 2010). that learners The Dutch government emphasizes the need for integration and participation in the are willing Dutch society : people living in the Netherand learn to lands have the right to develop and experience their own identity but should also solve conflicts identify themselves with the Dutch society without using as a whole (Cabinet, 2008). In its curriculum proposal SLO has developed three domains violence. in consultation with stakeholders: Democra-
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cy, Participation and Identity. Each domain is divided into attitudes, skills and knowledge. We think that the development of attitudes is central to citizenship and human rights education. Skills and knowledge are important in relation to attitudes. We must note, however, that in a democracy learners are allowed to take advantage of their skills and knowledge to develop their own attitudes. By combining the domains with attitudes, skills and knowledge, we have created a table with nine aspects of personality that citizenship and human rights education should cover (see page 34). We will briefly outline what they contain. In the table we have summarised the main goals for the first phase of secondary education. I. Democracy Attitudes: problem-solving people Because it is the very nature of democracy that there are different interests and dif-
Jeroen Bron and Eddie van Vliet work for the National Institute for Curriculum Development in The Netherlands.
ferences of opinion, it is crucial that learners are willing and learn to solve conflicts without using violence. Therefore they are prepared to take responsibility for a social climate where learners can express themselves freely, feel secure, equal and respected (see table A1).
apply social, communicative and organisational skills necessary to realize a positive social climate. These skills are complementary to the informative skills as mentioned under “Democracy” (see table B2).
Knowledge: socially literate people To support their development of attitudes Skills: informed people and skills learners acquire insight in the In a democracy there is freedom of expresways people can communicate and what sion, which supposes that learners are endrives them in their social behaviour. Also couraged to develop their views reasonably awareness of the human right to participate and communicate them with others from the actively in community life (see table B3). principles of raising awareness of the origins of their views, the possibility of learning III. Identity from others and their developing skills to Attitudes: responsible people convince others (see table A2). To socially live together in a multicultural and pluralistic society, learners show that Knowledge: democratically literate people they are prepared to inform themselves To successfully apply attitudes and skills about other people’s cultures, their views, about the principles of Democracy and the habits and customs without denying their Rule of Law. They also discover the underown identity. In addition they are willing to lying Human Rights about living together internalise commonly accepted values and freely, safely and responsibly and what it norms concerning freedom, equality and the means to live without democratic principles need for mutual respect (see table C1). and the Rule of Law (see table A3). Skills: empathic people II. Participation It is essential that learners are encouraged Attitudes: active people to develop empathic skills in addition to inTo prepare learners for active participation formative and social-communicative skills. in society they are encouraged to develop These are related to the ability to respectfully their willingness to contribute to the enput oneself into the shoes of others, to try to hancement of the social climate in their understand their views and feelings without schools and daily environments. In a broader losing one’s self respect (see table C2). sense, they should be enabled to internalise the view, as enshrined in the Universal Knowledge: culturally literate people Declaration of Human Rights (article 29.1), Learners should acquire basic knowledge that “anyone has duties to the community in about the main characteristics of Dutch which alone the free and full development multicultural and pluralistic society. They of his personality is possible” (see table B1). should also gain awareness about the human right to experience their own identity and as Skills: social-communicative people members of groups in such a society. They A requirement for learning to participate ef- also know that this right applies to everyfectively is to enable learners to develop and body without exception (see table C3).
It is essential that learners are encouraged to develop empathic skills in addition to informative and socialcommunicative skills. These are skills related to the ability to respectfully put oneself into the shoes of others, to try to understand their views and feelings without losing one’s self respect
Lessons on democracy at an Islamic school www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Autumn 2012 / Issue 34 / Teaching Citizenship / 33
Feature Democracy, participation and identity / J Bron & E van Vliet A summary of the main goals of citizenship and human rights education for the first phase of secondary education Democracy
A1 Problem-solving people are prepared to: • solve conflicts satisfactorily without using violence • stand up for a social climate in which everybody feels free and safe to express themselves • cope with conflicting interests • manage with possible tensions when reaching and carrying out majority decisions
B1 Active people are prepared to: • be involved in and feel responsible for the social and physical quality of their daily environment • stand up for an atmosphere of non-discrimination in social relations • dedicate themselves to services useful for society and people in need
C1 Responsible people are prepared to: • have two-way conversations with others • feel and show respect for their own development as well as the development of others • reflect on their own views in relation to commonly accepted values and norms • cooperate with others irrespective of their group identity
A2 Informed people are able to: • express, explain and communicate their views, opinions and ideas • actively inform themselves by consulting and weighing a range of sources • accept and deal with the possibility that their views will not be shared by others • explain the importance of Democracy, Rule of Law and Human Rights to their own lives • form an idea of life in countries where human rights are not or just partially observed
B2 Social-communicative people are able to: • apply basic socialcommunicative skills • reflect on their ways of communicating • apply their rights to freedom of association and peaceful assembly to initiate and organize activities to improve the social climate in class, school and other parts of their everyday environment • discuss the importance of socio-economic rights to participate in society
C2 Empathic people are able to: • develop basic empathic skills, especially to open up to and put themselves into the position of others • cooperate with other people regardless of their social, ethnic and/or cultural backgrounds • imagine themselves in situations where people are denied the right to (the development of) their own (cultural) identity
A3 Democratically literate people have insight into: • key features and characteristics of Democracy and the Rule of Law in the Netherlands and the European Union • the relation between state and citizens/people concerning rights, duties and responsibilities • the importance of the Dutch Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child
B3 Socially literate people have insight into: • forms of communication • different and shared roles, tasks, positions and responsibilities of people in schools • activities of organizations that are aimed at human solidarity • from a global perspective: several examples of what a lack of human rights means in people’s lives
C3 Culturally literate people have insight into: • a few basic characteristics of the Netherlands as a multicultural and pluralistic society, including the right to identity • the importance of socialization to identity development • from a global perspective: a few examples of the consequences of non-observance of cultural rights for people’s daily lives
34 / Teaching Citizenship / Issue 34 / Autumn 2012 / www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
Teaching ideas and practices
Community service and citizenship education In the Netherlands learners in secondary education have to do community service (Bruning et al. 2011). Participation and voice For example, fifteen-year-old YasUnlike the UK, pupil voice as way to mine chose to assist with the relief elaborate the child’s right to particiof homeless people. She worked for pation and active citizenship (HudHumanitas: an organization which dleston, 2007) does not get a whole aims at helping deprived and destilot of attention in the Netherlands. tute people. Her task was to organise In a way participation is seen as a a weekly lunch. regular practice: pupils in Dutch When she prepared for the comCommunication: debate, schools have quite a lot to say in munity service Yasmine discussed discussion and conversation class, teacher-pupil relations are not with her teacher how to cope with A secondary school in the municivery formal and class representation problems she could encounter and pality of Bloemendaal, in the provand pupil participation in school how to achieve certain citizenship ince of North Holland, interprets councils are formalised. This can be education goals. They arranged communication as a lesson, project seen as a drawback to introducing to pay special attention to skills and also as a whole school activity. the necessary new approaches to concerning cooperation, commuLearners are encouraged to explore pupil participation and voice that nication and empathy (see table C2, and discuss a range of social issues are based on a clear vision on what B2) because they met her personal and simultaneously to apply and good education should entail. Howeducational needs. acquire Dutch language skills and so- ever, new emerging developments During the community service cial studies content and skills, both are promising. period she practised and reflected from textbooks and real life. They SLO is a strong advocate for pupil on how to cooperate with colleagues are challenged not only to participate participation and voice. It is proand to communicate with and underin competitive debating but also to moted by the curriculum framework stand homeless people besides the have discussions in order to reach that regards participation as one of practical work. She had to discuss consensus and to engage in empath- the three main domains for citizenher experiences with her colleagues ic conversation to understand each ship education (see table B1-3), by at Humanitas and her teacher. other (see table A1, B2, C1, C2). opening up good practices of pupil As a result, her community It is central that learners are participation and voice and by supservice was also a site for experiencencouraged to reflect on the aboveporting schools to find ways of inteing citizenship. She learned about mentioned components of commugrating pupil participation. Schools the ins and outs of cooperating with nication. The question is when and like Vandercappelen in the town of colleagues and to socialize respectwhy debates, discussions and conZwolle, are piloting different methfully with homeless people. She also versations are appropriate forms of ods for pupil participation, based on increased her awareness of her own communication. In some situations the principle that pupil participation personality and identity. She overit can be necessary to win an argushould be easily accessible to the came, for instance, her shyness when ment. In other situations the main largest possible group of pupils: in communicating with others and goal can be to reach consensus or to class and during regular lessons. gained more insight into the imporunderstand other people’s thoughts One way of doing this is to invite tance of helping people in need (see and feelings. pupils to negotiate the curriculum table B1). ▪ Finally, communication is about (Boomer, 1992). A worksheet helps applying democratic and human learners to develop learning ques[For references, see the full version rights which can be related to learn- tions that are compared with curof this article on the ACT website: ers’ participation and pupil voice. riculum guidelines. Teacher and www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk.] In Bloemendaal learners participate pupils then decide which questions in making decisions about school to cover, how to go about tackling affairs that are relevant to them, in them. The whole process is moniparticular by drawing up school rules tored as part of a PhD study by and realising, as a supplement to the Jeroen Bron, one of the authors. In the examples below we outline just some main points. They illustrate that: • schools should act as environments where learners can apply knowledge and skills and develop attitudes concerning citizenship and human rights education; • curriculum overload can be prevented by integrating parts of social studies and language skills.
obligatory curriculum, their own curriculum: content and learning activities they want to commit themselves to (see below) .
www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Autumn 2012 / Issue 34 / Teaching Citizenship / 35
Denise Howe is an education consultant, a member of the ACT Council and helps to coordinate the ACT North East network.
Choc-a-lot and From Chocolate to Computers Published by Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC) £5 each + p&p, or download free PDF from: www.risc.org.uk/education/risc_publications.php Reviewed by Denise Howe
These two downloadable resources are every girl’s dream to review (unless you’re on a diet) – for who doesn’t like chocolate? RISC is a Development Education Centre close to Reading town centre. They work with schools and community groups to raise the profile of global issues and promote action for sustainable development, human rights and social justice. These two resources are just part of an enormous bank of over 3000 photos, artefacts, teaching packs and books on their website – along with schemes of work written by local teachers. Choc-a-lot describes itself as “a chocolate flavoured resource to explore the global trade in cocoa”. It is suitable for use with KS 2-4 and 16+ and is aimed at teachers and youth workers providing a pack of activities for a day workshop to introduce young people to the issues behind the global chocolate industry. The workshop (for about ten young people) is packed with activities that let you find out what’s really going on in the chocolate industry. Participants are given the facts and challenged to look at their own attitudes as they explore the global scene from cocoa growers to big chocolate companies. Ideas for further action are also included. There is a clear list of what equipment is required (including chocolate of course!) and guidance on the space that you will need. This is always a plus as teachers or group leaders often find themselves dashing off for another piece of kit, or having to spend hours reading the whole pack before gathering stuff together. Also covered are curriculum links, a glossary and clear timetable – and I can see here that it would be easy in KS2 to amalgamate the workshop into Geography, Science or English lessons. Its choc (sorry!) full of facts, games and discussion activities with further web links to extend knowledge and stretch the more able and enthusiastic participants. There is the 36 / Teaching Citizenship / Issue 34 / Autumn 2012 / www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
inevitable chocolate tasting (thought we’d never get to it!) and opportunities and suggestions for the young people to take further action by contacting companies and interviewing consumers. Participants are also given the chance to review the workshop and add or amend areas to improve it for the next round. All in all a well structured and thought out resource, with plenty of active participation encouraged. From Chocolate to Computers is a pack intended for secondary schools – looking more at the impact that the production of some of the foods and items we use has on workers and the environment. The emphasis is upon fair trade issues and engages young people in really understanding how the conditions of work and the aspects of production impacts not only local producers, but on us all. It covers cocoa, bananas, trainers, computers and roses – so surely something in there to catch students’ attention? Information is given by several ‘workers’ (factsheets) and there are further links to appropriate websites – then the suggestion is for young people to take on an ‘interviewer’ role to discuss whether their trade is fair and who benefits from it. The pack includes follow-up activities to extend the work, such as writing to local media, checking the school’s ethical purchasing policy, setting up a campaign group, and lobbying an MP. Both of these are good, easy to use resources, which use the hook of chocolate and consumer goods to grab young people’s interest. I would be inclined to start with the first, and then use the template to develop the second, which would also, as a teacher, give me the chance to see if my students had learned some transferable skills, as well as increased their knowledge. ▪
Peter Rodgers is Subject Leader of Psychology at Northumberland Church of England Academy.
Youth Amplified Available free from www.youthamplified.com From the University of Leeds and Speakers’ Corner Trust Reviewed by Stephen Fairbrass
Unless young people possess effective skills of political voice – to make others listen to what they have to say – they can’t take action to bring about positive social change. This is a unique and innovative set of resources, which seeks to help young people develop six of those key skills – confidence, projection, persuasion, listening, negotiation and argumentation – which they will need if they are to speak up effectively. Youth Amplified consists of a visually appealing and easy to navigate interactive website, supported by a teachers’ guide. The website was designed in collaboration with young people in schools and youth groups in relatively socially and economically deprived areas of England – the very young people whose voices are least likely to be heard in our society – and directly uses the voices of those young people to communicate with their peers elsewhere, sometimes via animations and sometimes via ‘talking heads’ videos of some of the young people. The six key skills are identified, explored, explained and suggestions are made as to why the skills are important and how they might be developed. Uniquely, Youth Amplified invites groups of young people to post their own responses to ‘challenge videos’ suggesting alternative ways in which the problems identified might be addressed. Youth Amplified is a highly versatile resource which may be used by teachers with classes, or by young people alone. The teachers’ guide gives comprehensive advice (including suggested learning objectives and a section on how to assess the development of the skills) for teachers who may not be confident in this territory, whilst more experienced teachers will find it flexible enough for them to adapt and integrate as they see fit into a range of Citizenship lessons. This is a valuable addition to an under resourced area of the Citizenship curriculum. ▪
Giving Nation www.g-nation.org.uk/get-involved Reviewed by Peter Rodgers
With its aim of ‘helping schools to help others’, this is a wonderfully comprehensive resource from the Citizenship Foundation which celebrates young people’s efforts to help others through curriculum-initiated social action. Supporting the development of skills such as advocacy, campaigning and teamwork, the programme enables young people to enact change which matters most to them in the community and the wider world. There are two financially supported active-learning programmes: mainstream schools can access the ‘Giving Nation Challenge’ and alternative settings and SEN groups the ‘Giving Nation Spirit’. The Giving Nation Challenge is aimed at students aged 11-16 in English mainstream schools. Designed to be used across the whole year group, the resources are specifically aimed at Year 9 but may be adapted for years 7 to 11. There are case studies, videos and photographs celebrating some of the work young people have been involved in. Examples include schools across the country competing to set up a social enterprise from ideas developed in school such as helping elderly people to learn computing skills, brightening up the local environment and open mike sessions to engage local youth. The video clips are great and illustrate the processes involved in participative project management such as who to involve and how to obtain sponsorship. They show just how empowering such projects are for young people’s sense of agency. Schools may download resources such as coordinator’s notes, lesson plans, higher and foundation workbooks and even staff briefing resources. Certificates are also available for students from the website. Giving Nation is mapped against the National Curriculum and a grant is available to schools. All in all, this is a massively useful, well-organised and thoughtful piece of kit. ▪
www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Autumn 2012 / Issue 34 / Teaching Citizenship / 37
ually ... is the now the time for a co operative curriculum? Whether viewed from the perspective of the Big Society or from Blue Labour’s communitarian wing, the ideal of cooperation and cooperative institutions has been revived. Lee Jerome asks if this is a topic that is perhaps worthy of Citizenship teachers’ attention?
brands and competition. Whilst cooperatives have proved themselves capable of competing in various markets, they have also been able to combine this market participation with a distinctive set of values. In his new book Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation (2012, London: Allen Lane) Richard Sennett provides a wealth of case studies and ideas to explore in the classroom. He reflects on the institutional and political roots of cooperative organisations as well as the broader question of what actuThe Cooperative Schools movement ally constitutes cooperation. Whilst is growing up and down the councooperative behaviour enables us try and it is now the third largest to accomplish what we cannot do network of schools, behind only the alone Sennett warns against the urge Church of England and the Catholic to unity which can become represChurch. After Gove placed a rocket sive when taken too far. Somewhere under New Labour’s Academy probetween excessive individualism, gramme many head teachers have winner takes all competition and been forced to contemplate life outrepressive unity lie a range of side of familiar local authority struc- productive cooperative behaviours tures and, faced with the prospects of which have been nurtured in comfloating off alone or joining a chain munities and institutions through of one brand or another, many have time, but which are currently being opted for a cooperative middle way, eroded by changes in our culture, which ensures the school remains our workplaces and our capitalist rooted in the community. system more generally. Mervyn Wilson, Principal and Sennett argues that in order to Chief Executive of the Cooperative promote cooperation we have to College, has described this as a quiet focus on the importance of empathy revolution, and whilst someone over sympathy, dialogic conversarecently quipped to me that cooptions over dialectic exchanges and eratives were ‘privatisation by nice pay attention to the institutions people’ it does seem there is somewhere we meet, work and learn thing radical going on here. Untogether. He investigates workshops doubtedly some head teachers and to reflect on the skills that people use their governing bodies are pursuing to work together cooperatively and cooperative status as a deliberate po- then uses this as a template to think litical ploy to sidestep the more overt about just what is required to live market logic associated with chains, well together. He also contrasts these 38 / Teaching Citizenship / Issue 34 / Autumn 2012 / www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
older traditions of working with new short-time ways of working in which many businesses praise team-working whilst constantly re-configuring the teams themselves. He argues that many of the characteristics of cooperative workplaces cannot be reproduced under such conditions, as it is not feasible for people to earn authority and develop genuine trust in a world of constant change. Whilst cooperation is not a core concept in the curriculum, it strikes me that this could well become a core concept for a scheme of work. It provides a framework for considering current policy and broad political ideals; it also enables us to think about the relationship between institutions and individuals; and it provides a useful lens for key stage 4 students working on ‘the economy’. Combining as it does a form of idealism which is attractive to many young people and real case studies of how to live well in marketbased economies, it may well be time for cooperatives and cooperation to feature in our Citizenship curriculum as well as in the new political rhetoric. ▪ Cooperative Values 1. Self-help 2. Self-responsibility 3. Democracy 4. Equality 5. Equity 6. Solidarity 7. Ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others. Source: www.co-op.ac.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 journal. 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 journal – 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.