CL!CKTIVISM How digital activism could revolutionise your classroom!
The Tweeter Teacher
Learning through Twitter / page 10
In rights-based schools? / page 26
Resources, Reviews and much more...
Lights, Camera, Activism! Using digital video in schools / page 8
Online civic participation / page 14
Exclusive eyewitness report / page 22
Issue No 31 Journal of the Association for Citizenship Teaching Autumn 2011 www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
Agents 4 Actions
Interactive citizenship workshops for Key Stages 2-5. Building skills for business and society.
An innovative student centred approach to encouraging young people to engage with the key issues facing society today. Extremely well organised with enthusiastic and well informed facilitators. I would recommend this without hesitation.
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Theme: Clicktivism 06 Editorial Digital technology and active citizenship by Marcus Bhargava 08 Lights, Camera, Activism! Pete Pattisson enhances learning using digital video 10 The Tweeter Teacher Learning through Twitter by Emma Chandler 12 Your first Twitter lesson plan Emma Chandler investigates authority figures 13 Mobile bans at school 08 Helen Blachford asks – is it time for a rethink? 14 Uncivil authorities Youth and on/offline civic participation by Shankuntala Banaji 18 Slacktivism or Activism? Principles of digital activist learning by James Wright Lesson Plans 26 22 Norway’s Summer Millicent Scott’s eyewitness account of atrocity 23 Who helps when an atrocity happens... ? Primary resource worksheet by Millicent Scott 24 Norwegian voices Secondary resources and questions by Millicent Scott Features 26 Teaching Rights Responsibly Victoria Harris argues for more sustained teaching of rights 29 Taking the human rights temperature of your school How rights-based is your school? asks Victoria Harris 30 Creating Citizenship Communities 32 Ian Davies tackles community engagement 32 ‘To learn and serve’ US traditions of service learning by Lee Jerome Reviews, Resources & Regulars 34 Diary of a Debate Debutante by Trisha Manktelow 35 Parliament Week – Events & Resources 36 Citizenship Teacher by Hugo Goodson / We Can Be Heroes by M Scott 37 Avoiding Death by PowerPoint by Lee Jerome 38 ACTually... (learning about parliament isn’t dry) by Lee Jerome Published by the Association for Citizenship Teaching, 63 Gee Street, London ec1v 3rs Email email@example.com | Telephone +44 (0)20 7253 0051 (note new number!) © 2011 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 Teaching Citizenship has a new look and alongside the redesign we have developed a new way of working. The journal is now produced by act’s Council, with some new features and columns alongside the familiar articles and lesson plans. Each edition we will appoint an expert to guest edit the theme and thanks go to Marcus Bhargava for pulling together this edition’s theme – Digital Activism. Forthcoming themes include Museums, Libraries and Archives in the spring and Debate in the summer. If you have related case studies of interesting practice or an article or review you would like to contribute, please get in touch. Suggestions for themes for 2012-13 are welcome, as are letters telling us what you think of the new journal, what you would like to see in future editions and generally what you think about developments in the world of citizenship. Lee Jerome, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Design Notes The redesign of this magazine aims to be fresh and contemporary, as well as clean, simple and accessible. We also set out to give it a look and feel which is high quality, professional and authoritative – but not stuffy. Additionally, it seeks to be consistent with act’s new brand identity and improve legibility and clarity. The development of the design remains a work in progress, it will evolve as we aim to give it even more distinctive visual character. Your feedback is vital to this process, please let us know what you make of the new look. Lionel Openshaw, Design & Production Editor email@example.com The views expressed in signed articles do not necessarily represent those of ACT, and we cannot accept responsibility for any products
or services advertised within the magazine. Printed by Premier Print Group: www.premierprint group.com.
www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Autumn 2011 / Issue 31 / Teaching Citizenship / 3
Events & News
Compiled by Sheila Clark on behalf of ACT Council. Share info and news about forthcoming events – email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
School visits to Parliament
Learning Outside the Classroom: Taster Sessions
Telephone lines for booking school trips in the 2012 summer term open on 25 January. Call early to secure your place, as they book out quickly! Telephone: 020 7219 4496 or email: email@example.com.
Black History Month A month-long celebration during October 2011 of African, Asian and Caribbean people’s contribution to life in the uk. Black people have had a huge impact upon cultural, political and economic life in Britain, and indeed the wider world. Black History Month provides the perfect opportunity to recognise these influences. For various events see: www. teachingcitizenship.org.uk/events.
Getting It Right: ACT North East Conference Designed for all Citizenship teachers in Primary, Special and Secondary Schools, this conference (rescheduled for the spring term) is titled ‘Moving on with Citizenship – Getting It Right’ and will be led by Chris Waller, Professional Officer of act. The conference will provide current information about Citizenship education, including a chance to look at the curriculum review and what it might mean for your teaching and your school. An opportunity to learn about the changes that may come with the Education Bill and White Paper, it will take place in Peterlee, County Durham – contact the act office for booking details etc.
The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom is delivering a Teacher Taster Session on 12 October in Hull. Whether you’re a teacher, nqt or itt student, discover firsthand how learning outside the classroom can be delivered successfully across the whole curriculum and in a huge variety of ways. This half-day session offers talks, practical demonstrations and group activities from providers in the region. Details of this and other events are available at: www.lotc.org.uk/category/events.
LearnBurma’s ‘Free to Dance’ Ben Hammond is aiming to break the Guinness Book of Records continuous dancing record by dancing for 131 hours, at a series of events from 11-16 October. The events are to raise funds and awareness about his new charity ‘LearnBurma’. Ben was Citizenship Co-ordinator at Deptford Green School, currently lectures at the Institute of Education and is the Director of LearnBurma. You can learn about the charity and Ben’s school visits at: www.learnburma. org , and www.free2dance.com.
continue to be trapped in modern slavery, and to promote the need for many individuals and organisations across society to play a part in ending it.” There’s also International Day for the Abolition of Slavery on 2 December: www.antislavery.org.
CSV’s ‘Make a Difference Day’ There are six lesson plans available for this 29 October event – for Key Stages Three and Four – focusing on Youth, Media, Fair Trade, Child Poverty, Politics and Health & Sports. If you or your students register their idea for a project then you will receive one of the Action Packs from Community Service Volunteers (csv) which includes t-shirts, posters, stickers, balloons, volunteer certificates and other free goodies. You can register with csv to get a free resource pack at: www.csv.org.uk/ campaigns/csv-make-difference-day.
The theme for Parliament Week 2011 (31 October – 7 November) is ‘Stories of Democracy’ – from past to present, Taking place on 18 October, this local to national. It seeks to raise day was established in 2010 via a awareness about how democracy Parliamentary bill championed by affects people and how they can former MP Anthony Steen. The aim participate in it. Use the opportunity is “to provide a focal point for raising to book your classes in for a visit to awareness about the many people parliament. See page 35 for further in the UK and around the world who resources, information and links.
4 / Teaching Citizenship / Issue 31 / Autumn 2011 / www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
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.
United Nations Events
Holocaust Memorial Day
International Day International Day of Democracy for the Eradication 15 September – This day was of Poverty
27 January is the date that AuschwitzBirkenau was liberated and the Holocaust Memorial Day theme for 2012 is ‘Speak up, Speak out’. Workshops are being held across the country, in October – November 2011. More about these events and activities, a campaign pack and other resources are available at: www.hmd.org.uk.
adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 13th 2007 to promote democracy as a universal value. The un invites support from the international community, national governing bodies, civil society and individuals to help raise public awareness about democracy, “recognising that human rights, the rule of law and democracy are interlinked and mutually reinforcing”. Check out the bbc Radio 4 ‘Reith Lectures’ with Burmese Leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who explores freedom.
International Day of Peace
17 October – Officially recognized by the United Nations in 1992, this day aims to promote awareness among people about the need to eradicate poverty from all countries, and to highlight the issues facing developing countries. The un’s formal definition of ‘poverty’ refers to anyone living on less than $1.25 (80p) a day. It is now estimated that approx. 1.44 billion people are living in poverty. The theme for this year’s international day is: From Poverty to Sustainability, more details are at: www.un.org/esa/ socdev/social/intldays/IntlDay. Good teaching resources for all key stages can be found at the Cafod website: www.cafod.org.uk.
21 September – Peace and DemocAction Aid’s ‘Child Poverty Day’ racy: Let your voice be heard is the and their ‘Big School Dinner’ are theme for this year’s un Peace day. also useful for ks2: www.actionaid. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of org.uk/childpovertyday. the un, has requested that everyone observes one minute’s silence at noon in all time zones. This is also a Day of Ceasefire – personal or political. The website asks you to “Imagine what a whole Day of Ceasefire would mean to humankind.” For more info, see: 10 December – this marks the www.internationaldayofpeace.org. anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Further information and resources: 1948. The un symbol of the globe www.amnesty.org.uk surrounded by olive branches is www.hrw.org (human rights watch) associated by many with this day www.warchild.org in particular. For more, see: www. www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice un.org/en/events/humanrightsday.
Helping your pupils make sense of the world This cpd – on Wednesday 8 February 2012, in Manchester – will cover teaching approaches to enable pupils to engage critically with controversial and sensitive topical issues. Including news, propaganda and truth; using experts and personal experiences in the classroom; conspiracy theories and myth busting; 9/11 and related controversies. It will also help you enable pupils to critically evaluate the sources of the information they receive; and provide opportunities to explore alternative perspectives. To find out more, and book your place, see: http://teachingcpd.eventbrite.com.
International Human Rights Day Red Hand Day
for Child Soldiers
This day, on February 12, draws attention to the issue of the 300,000 + children who are forced into active combat around the world, with about one third estimated to be in African countries. For more information see: www.child-soldiers.org.
www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Autumn 2011 / Issue 31 / Teaching Citizenship / 5
Running Head Editorial
Marcus Bhargava is Citizenship PGCE Course Leader at London Metropolitan University. He has supported the development of Citizenship nationally, and was subject leader for Citizenship at Pimlico School from 2001 – 2007.
A Head Digital
technology and active citizenship This editionstandfirst focuses on Standfirst standfirst the growing use of digital standfirst standfirst standfirst technologies to promote standfirst standfirst standfirst engagement in Citizenship. standfirst standfirst standfirst In almost ten years as a standfirst standfirst standfirst statutory thestandfirst use standfirst subject, standfirst of technologies as anstandfirst everystandfirst standfirst day part ofstandfirst life has developed standfirst standfirst out of all recognition, standfirst standfirst as Marcus Bhargava explains. Body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text Body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text Body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text Body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text Body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text Body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text
We use ever more sophisticated digital technology to communicate with each other, express our thoughts and ideas and find the information we need. Ten years ago, the most sophisticated thing about my mobile phone was that you could change its cover. Now, my phone allows me to surf the net, speak to relatives in far corners of the world, scan documents that I’m researching, listen to educational podcasts, read books, film and photograph in high definition, connect with others through social networking sites… and make phone calls. The challenge for the Citizenship teacher is to harness these technologies in a way that engages our learners in real life issues, allows them to take action in creative ways and maximises the learning. Pete Pattisson helps us in this area by offering some practical ideas and tips for using digital video cameras to engage and enthuse learners and to support our own reflective practice as teachers. The phenomenon of social networking offers citizens new opportunities to connect with others and take action in areas of common concern. Emma Chandler provides some useful advice for teachers familiar with Twitter for using the service to promote independent learning in students and to facilitate their connections with those with knowledge, in-
6 / Teaching Citizenship / Issue 31 / Autumn 2011 / www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
fluence or power. Shakuntala Banaji draws attention in her article to the growing number of ways that young people can civically engage and participate online across Europe, but also highlights the fact that this growth has not necessarily led to more engaged, politically literate young citizenry that takes action ‘offline’. Her reflections highlight the importance of Citizenship teachers developing greater criticality in their understanding and use of digital forms of activism and in developing a similar criticality in students. James Wright, in a practical response article to Banaji, takes up this theme and emphasises the importance of conceptual learning and effective planning in using ‘clicktivist’ approaches. Digital technologies and their use in civic engagement, participation and activism will continue to play an ever more important role in citizens’ lives. However, they will only truly develop actively informed citizens if young people recognise how to critically engage with them and maximise their full potential. This obviously has a knock on impact in terms of the knowledge and skills acquisition required of all Citizenship teachers, but perhaps what all these articles highlight is the fact this can and should be a shared voyage of discovery and development between teachers and learners. ▪
“The challenge for the Citizenship teacher is to harness these technologies in a way that engages our learners in real life issues”
‘Love it! A powerful, creative resource which I’ll love using. Really well put together.’
Education Coordinator, African Initiatives
‘A resource that will prompt economic well-being to actually be taught!’ Teacher
Just Living is an exciting new, global citizenship secondary teaching resource that supports the teaching of Citizenship and PSHE, bringing a rights-based approach to learning about economic well-being.
Underpinned by Article 27 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – ‘Every child has the right to a standard of living that is good enough to meet their physical, social and mental needs’ – Just Living aims to develop young people’s understanding about what it means to be a global citizen and engage them in thinking critically about economic issues from an individual and global perspective. Just Living encourages debate about what having a decent standard of living means for young people in the UK and in different parts of the world, and includes the thoughts and views of young people from Brazil. Activities explore topical issues relating to money and will help them make ﬁnancial choices that are both ethically and ﬁnancially sound. How can it be used? Just Living features a set of six ﬂexible units which could be used as a scheme of work, as part of a tutorial programme, timetables lessons, or adapted to be used as workshops on ‘off timetable’ enrichment days.
Standfirst standfirst standfirst standfirst standfirst standfirst standfirst standfirst standfirst standfirst standfirst standfirst standfirst standfirst standfirst standfirst standfirst standfirst Introducing a new secondary school resource pack to help young people develop a rights-based approach to economic well-being standfirst standfirst standfirst standfirst standfirst standfirst ‘The combination of activities and media provides excellent stimulation standfirst and intereststandfirst to our students.’ Teacher
The pack contains activity ideas, case studies, Powerpoints and six short video clips. It supports key elements of UNICEF’s Rights Respecting Schools Award: unicef.org.uk/rrsa
Body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text Body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text Body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text Body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text Body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text Lesson plans, presentations, body text body text body text body text body text body text more available videos, songs and Body text body text body text to download now. body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text body text
‘Just Living can really engage pupils in lively debates.’ PGCE Citizenship student
How can I get a copy? Just Living is a free downloadable resource, available from: unicef.org.uk/justliving There are also a limited number of FREE hard copies available to teachers willing to provide feedback. Please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Just Living is part of a larger community investment partnership between Barclays and UNICEF called Building Young Futures, which aims to empower thousands of young people across the world by providing them with the support and skills they need to achieve a brighter economic future.
Make WaterAid your school’s charity of the year WaterAid/Anna Kari
education resources! Visit the LearnZone at
‘Asks questions about our everyday choices and how they directly and indirectly affect millions around the globe.’ 6th Form student
“The new toilets at school have pipes and remove dirty and smell. They are beautiful!”
u Use our free expert resources to learn about worldwide water issues u Have fun and learn new skills organising a school fundraising event u Transform children’s lives
Junior, 9, from Zambia. WaterAid installed new, hygienic latrines at Junior’s school.
Call our dedicated schools fundraiser on 020 7793 4989 or email email@example.com to find out more and request your free pack today! WaterAid transforms lives by improving access to safe water,
Registered charity numbers 288701 (England and Wales) and SC039479 (Scotland)
www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Autumnhygiene 2011and / Issue 31 /inTeaching Citizenship /7 sanitation the world’s poorest communities.
RunningClicktivism Theme: Head
Lights, A HeadCamera, Activism!
Enhance and empower learning using digital video
Students and Standfirst standfirst teachers standfirst can standfirst benefit immensely standfirstinstandfirst the Citizenship standfirst standfirst classroom standfirst when standfirst digital video standfirst camerasstandfirst are used standfirst to complement standfirst standfirst teaching standfirst and learning standfirst approaches. standfirst standfirst Pete Pattisson standfirst outlines standfirst ten ways standfirst thesestandfirst camerasstandfirst might standfirst be used. standfirst Body text body ast year textI body took up texta body text body new text postbody to head textup body text body Citizenship, text body pshe text body text body and Learning text bodyto text body text body Learn text at Blackfen body text Body text body School text forbody Girls, text a body text body secondary text body modern text body text body in Bexley, text body south text body text body east London. text bodyIttext was body text body five years text body sincetext my Body text body last teaching text bodypost text body text body and in text that body time text body text body a huge text amount body text body had changed text body intext the body worldtext of body technology. text body I was text determined body text Body to usetext some body of the textnew body digital text body tools text that body were text nowbody available text body to transform text body the text way body we taught text body and our textstudents body text learned. body text And body so I’vetext been body experimenting text body text with Bodyvarious text body new text technologies, body text body the most textsuccessful body text body of which text body has been textdigital body text video. body With text body the help textofbody a ‘Flip’ textvideo bodycamera text body I’ve been text able bodytotext experiment body text with Bodymany text body newtext ways body of teachtext body ing and text learning, body text using bodytechtext body nology text which bodyistext engaging body text and body empowering. text body text body text body text body text body text Here are ten ways to use digital video cameras to transform teaching and learning:
Students love to get their hands on video cameras and they are a great tool for campaigning and advocacy. Last year every single Year 9 student made a 60 second Citizenship film with a campaigning message. We then showed the best of these films in assemblies. Here are some of my favourites: http://bit.ly/pyOISu
Student Voice We started and ended our student voice and school council work this year using these video cameras. At the start of the year students used the cameras to film their peers talking about the issues they wanted changed in the school. The resulting film was then shown in assemblies to launch our student council. We then made another film at the end of the year to inform students what we had achieved on their behalf. This is a link to their end of year film: http://bit.ly/mQ89AX
School Linking We are beginning to develop a link with a Hari Shree Vidyalayam school in Chennai, south India – and we have successfully used video to share views on a wide range of issues between both schools. The students are absolutely thrilled to see and hear from their peers in India.
8 / Teaching Citizenship / Issue 31 / Autumn 2011 / www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
“I was determined to use some of the new digital tools that were now available to transform the way we taught and our students learned”
Using External Experts We’ve all struggled with getting outside experts into our classrooms to speak to students. It’s either impossible to get them in eight times to meet eight classes, or when they do come in they drone on for too long! I’ve got round that by interviewing the expert on camera, and then showing students the resulting film. Saves a lot of time and effort! Here’s an example: http://bit.ly/ q9zjrW
Student Feedback We have also used the video cameras to get feedback from students about their lessons. I worried that they might not be honest in their feedback – I shouldn’t have!
I have found that using a short video to launch a new learning project really engages students. They often listen to a video of me talking more closely than me talking to them directly! Here’s an example: http://bit.ly/nQZpDl
Pete Pattisson is Head of Faculty for Citizenship at Blackfen School for Girls. He was the National Subject Lead for Citizenship, and before that was the Head of Citizenship at Deptford Green School, also in south east London. See his blog at: www.mrpattisson.wordpress.com
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Self-Assessment By this I mean assessing myself! I bought a cheap standfirst standfirst standfirst bracket, which allowed me to standfirst standfirst standfirst attach the camera to the wall in standfirst standfirst standfirst my classroom, and I filmed myself teaching dozens of lessons. standfirst standfirst standfirst Istandfirst then watch the recording, standfirst standfirst which allows me to judge my standfirst standfirst standfirst teaching and see where I could standfirstHere’s standfirst improve. an example: Body http://bit.ly/n6aCfW text body text body text body text body text body text body Supporting text body Student text body Teachers text body The text footage body text from body these text body lessons text also body proved text body usefultext when Body text I hosted bodystudent text body teachtext body ers because text body I could text show body text them body how Itext taught body the text lesson, bodywhich text body helped text them body prepare… text body assumtext body ing I had texttaught body text it well! body text Body text body text body text body Staff textTraining body text body text body The text videos body Itext have body made text body during text thebody yeartext havebody alsotext body proved text very body useful textduring body text Body staff inset. text body There’s text no body better text way bodytotext share body something text bodywith text body colleagues text body thantext to be body abletext to body actually textwatch body it text happening body text body in a classroom. text body text body text Body text body text body text body text Blogging body text body text body text Last body year text I began body text body a blogtext to share body our textideas body text body and practice text body from textBlackbody text Body fen. I text hopebody the videos text body of text body our work text really body text make body text body the blog textaccessible body text and body text body engaging, text body see: text body text www.mrpattisson. body text body text body text wordpress.com.
Dealing with the practicalities ● The cameras we have used are from the Flip range. Cisco, who owns Flip, have sadly announced that they are going to stop production, however you can still buy them for the time being from Amazon etc. Unless you have a very fast computer system at school, you may be better buying the non-High Definition ones as they produce smaller video files which are easy to play back. ● The cameras are around £100 each, which is not cheap if you want to buy a class set of say eight (enough for a class working in groups of four). We managed to beg and borrow some, but when our Head saw how well they were being used he found some extra money to allow us to buy more. My advice is don’t get put off by the price – just get hold of some, and put them to work!
● Of course making a film is much more than just a matter of collecting some footage. The equally important part is editing it into something watchable. You have three options here; 1) only use the cameras to record short clips which can be shown without editing; 2) the Flip cameras come with their own basic editing software, which is usable; 3) learn to use an editing programme like Windows Moviemaker which is adequate and easy to learn. ● Finally – a warning. Using digital video is an amazing way to engage and empower students, but it will not save you time. Editing in particular takes a lot of time, but I believe it’s worth it! ▪
Pictured below: Students at Blackfen School love to get their hands on video cameras
www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Autumn 2011 / Issue 31 / Teaching Citizenship / 9
RunningClicktivism Theme: Head
Follow ACT on Twitter: www.twitter.com /ACitizenshipT
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know first hand the advantages Set up a meaningful PLN it can have but it was not until I Your pln is a network of attempted to harness it anony- followers who will be able to mously – or unconnected – that engage with your students in I understood the importance of planned learning activities. the Personal Learning Network (pln). Which is why my first step in this ‘how to’ is to stop. In order to engage meaningfully, as in the real world, you need to establish relationships and connections. If you are thinking of using Twitter in the classroom at any point this year, you need to think about these broader issues first. Stop – and follow these tips:
Go to Twitter.com and set up an account Choose a username that makes sense for your school. My class tweets are from @h1_epa which is my room number and school initials. I have purposely left out any mention of me as an individual. I do not tweet from this account, my classes do. As such I do not reply unless it is in real time and with the prefix ‘teacher reply’ or ‘form tutor reply’ if relevant.
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Your pln should engage with you through a sense of community and shared interest in the outcome. Namely, if they take part in your class discussions then you will return the favour for them. However, it can only do that if you prepare it. Use hashtags of relevance and give prior warning of any debates you want them to take part in.
Emma Chandler teaches Citizenship, RE and Cultural Studies at Emerson Park Academy, Havering. See how she uses Twitter in her teaching at: www.twitter.com/h1_epa
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Do not tweet yourself If you want to tell the world what you think about standfirst standfirst standfirst Mr Gove’s newest plans, do so standfirst standfirst on your own personalstandfirst Twitter. standfirst standfirst standfirst This is a classroom resource. Remind your pln of your presstandfirst standfirst standfirst ence and function by giving standfirst standfirst standfirst timely notice of classes and standfirst standfirst standfirst what hashtag you will be using. standfirst Once your standfirst use of Twitter is Body established, text body remember text body totext add warnings body text body for pupils text body who follow text body that their text body feed can textbe body viewed. text body text body text body text body Use text established body text hashtags body text Body For text thebody uninitiated, text body text body hashtags text can body seem text messy. body text body Hashtagging text body is text the prefixing body text body of certain text body wordstext in abody tweet text with body the # text symbol. bodyIttext allows body you text to Body keep track text body of conversations text body text in body real time text and bodythen textlater bodywhen text you bodywant text to body search textfor body certain text body conversations. text body text I have body found textthe body following text body hashtags text body usefultext for Body classroom text body networking: text body text body text body text body text #ukedchat body text body text body text #teacherontwitter body text body text body text #classtweets body text body text body text #education Body text body text body text #edtech body text body text body text #teaching body text body text body text body text body text body text Then, body text depending body text onbody the text Body content text ofbody the lesson, text body text body something text body like:text body text #protest body text body text body text #questions body text body text body text body text body text body text And finally, location, such as: #london #essex
Prepare The screen grab below shows As with any activity, you how I set up a lesson in my must prepare this resource school. The starter has been for use. Twitter can open up a tweeted and directed to world of possibilities for you individuals ahead of time. and your learners but it can be a fruitless endeavour if not Using Twitter ‘live’ in lessons prepared properly. Preparation I have included a lesson plan is key for success. Part of this and resource for use in an is Step 2 of course but even the introductory capacity (see most active network can’t read overleaf). So long as Step 2 has your mind. I suggest sending gone sufficiently well to secure a ‘Direct Message’ (dm) to a at least one or two interactions designated list of followers then it should go well enough letting them know what you for your class to at least see the want to do and how they can potential. Don’t be put off. ▪ be helpful. Give times and an idea of the response you’re hoping for. This might appear tokenistic or overly controlled but consider what you would do if you were to invite a visitor into your classroom and do no differently.
www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Autumn 2011 / Issue 31 / Teaching Citizenship / 11
Theme: Clicktivism / Lesson Plan
Your first Twitter lesson plan
Twitter strips (140 characters including spaces), Interactive Whiteboard (IWB), Images from lesson starter uploaded via Twitpic or similar.
To investigate the different ways people see authority.
Images on IWB – spot the odd one out.
Give plenty of time to think/pair/share – during share phase reveal that you have shared these images with others on Twitter.
Compare and contrast class answers with your PLN’s answers.
Which authority figure has the most effect on your life – diamond sort of the pictures from starter.
Post the same question to your PLN while the class do the activity.
Compare and reveal answers from Twitter. Which are the same, which are different, and why?
What would the world be like without authority? Balloon Game: Which authority figure must survive? Ask pairs to produce a Point statement on their twitter strip that answers the question ‘which authority figure must survive and why’. Remind them of 140 character rule.
Post same question to PLN.
Compare as previously and engage with any answers from PLN by condensing answers from class and replying as ‘teacher’.
Discuss ‘does society need figures of authority?’
Depending on how the discussion is going via your PLN, you could post the answers as they are offered or you could ask your class to sum up their answer in one word and create a wordle.net for posting later.
12 / Teaching Citizenship / Issue 31 / Autumn 2011 / www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
Helen Blachford has been teaching for 17 years, has been Curriculum Leader for Citizenship and PSHE at Priory School, Portsmouth, for seven years – and is a member of ACT’s Council. Email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mobile bans at school Time for a rethink? Like many schools, Priory has had a policy of stopping students from using their mobile devices at school. But why do we prevent the majority of our students from doing so, just because of the few who may abuse their devices, asks Helen Blachford.
Information; Mass Media), Article 28 (Education) and Article 31 (Leisure, Play and Culture). Having established the broad principles on which to base the policy students consulted staff, through either electronic submissions or face to face meetings. Kaana Ware, a Year 9 student told me, “I liked being consulted, particularly as it was something In fact, as our students are quick to students are interested in, benefit point out, we already have behaviour from and actually care about”. policies in place which deal with Asked about how she found the bullying and failure to follow process of writing the draft policy, instructions – so why would we Megan Wright, a Year 8 student, said need a separate set of sanctions to “Priory School likes to push bounddeal with any issues arising from aries and wants to bring us up to the misuse of mobile devices? date and into the 21st Century with new technological advances. It has Mobile Device Project is Born been a lot of hard work though to Our Geography Department has a try and find a way forward that will track record in harnessing technolbe acceptable to students, parents, ogy to enhance the learning experiteachers and governors who are all ence for students. Following their looking for different things from our successful use of module devices to policy. Parents and teachers are worcollect information to inform the ried about safety, governors want to school’s bsf plan, the Head Teacher know what the educational benefits asked the department to develop will be and students just want to lisa policy on mobile device use. The ten to music and relax at break time”. Curriculum Leader, David Rogers was very keen that this was a collab- The Future of the Project? orative process and invited me and • In September all staff will have the members of the School Council to opportunity to trial the new policy develop a policy would be inclusive and findings will then be collated and apply to both students and staff. and reported back to the governors. Our school is working towards • A small group of students will be becoming a ‘Rights Respecting identified as ‘Digital Leaders’ who School’ and so the United Nations will be responsible for working with Convention on the Rights of the staff and students to implement and Child provided our starting point. develop the policy. The rights identified as being inte• Extend the planned use of mobile gral to the policy were: Article 15 devices across the curriculum – (Freedom of Association), Article enhancing learning and assisting 16 (Privacy), Article 17 (Access to in the creation of inspiring lessons.
Summary of the Mobile Device Policy Members of the Priory School community have the right to use their mobile devices during nonlearning time provided that each individual accepts their responsibility to respect the rights of privacy and education of others and that their use of mobile devices is within the law. Nonlearning time means you can use your mobile device: • Before morning registration • During break times • After school. Acceptable use means you have the responsibility to ensure that: 1. Mobile devices are ‘on silent’ at all times. 2. Images, both moving and still, are not taken of any person. 3. Mobile devices, including headphones, are put away before arriving at a lesson. 4. No mobile device is used during a lesson without the express permission of the teacher leading that lesson. 5. Your use of your mobile device is within the law. 6. Your device is not used to bully other members of the community, though any media. Failure to meet any of these responsibilities will be dealt with using school behaviour policy. ▪
www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Autumn 2011 / Issue 31 / Teaching Citizenship / 13
RunningClicktivism Theme: Head
Uncivil A Headauthorities:
young people and civic participation on and offline
Do Standfirst the growing standfirst number standfirst of opportunities for standfirst young people standfirst to civically standfirstengage online standfirst have an impact standfirst on their standfirst engagement standfirst beyond thestandfirst web? Shankuntala standfirst Banaji standfirst outlines the standfirst findingsstandfirst of a cross-European standfirst research project standfirst andstandfirst highlights some of the standfirst implications standfirst for Citizenship standfirst teachers. standfirst standfirst standfirst n a year which has seen both standfirst peaceful standfirstand violent citizen uprisBody text body ings across text body the text Middle-East and body text body Europe text largely body text fuelled by young body text body people, textanti-fees body text protests and riotbody text body ing intext thebody uk astext well as a horrific, body text body politically text body motivated text massacre Body text body of young text activists body textin Norway by body text body a far right text body ideologue, text the topic of body text body activetext citizenship body textfeels particubody text body larly text relevant. body Calls text abound for body text body young text people bodyto text ‘get involved’, ‘to Body be good textcitizens’, body text to body ‘participate’. text Many of body us – researchers, text body text educators body text or both – spend body swathes textofbody timetext emphasising body text the importance body of ‘voice’ textand body‘active text body citizenship’ text for democbody racy. We textbelieve body text thatbody it is text better for young Body people text to know body text what body is going text on in the world body around text them, bodytotext have body a lively text interest in their body local and text national body textcommunities, body text to have body the desire text body and the textwherewithal body text to challenge what body text theybody consider text body to be injustice text and call Body upon text theirbody governments text body to text govern better and body moretext effectively. body text Theoretically body text everyone is in body favour text of active body text citizenship. body text bodyBut text what, bodyiftext anything, body text is the connection body between textyoung body text people’s bodyactual text civic engageBody mentstext andbody democratic text body realpolitik? text And what body can betext learnt body about text body traditional text politics and body activetext citizenship body textbybody examining text how youth body civic action text body is generally text bodyreceived? text bodyHere textIbody approach text body thesetext questions through a discussion of the findings of CivicWeb, a three-year, European Commission funded research project, which addressed the role
of the internet as a means of promoting civic engagement and participation among young people aged 15-25. It examined the types of civic and political websites available for young people in seven countries: Hungary, Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden, Spain, Turkey and the uk; the reasons why such sites are being made; the interpretations, beliefs and on- and off-line actions of the youth who visit them; and why certain sites and networks are more successful at engaging youth than others. The project employed both quantitative and qualitative methods including literature reviews, surveys of websites and young users, individual and focus group interviews with website producers and young people, textual analyses of websites, and thematic and cross-national approaches to synthesising results. Most effectively, it used a case-study approach which combined the above methods to compare the views, attitudes and actions of civic ‘producers’ (educators running websites, charities, and government officials) both directly and through their campaign materials with those of diverse groups of young people. But first – what motivated this research? At the beginning of the 21st century, alongside a great deal of angst about young people’s apparent disaffection from politics and civic life, falling voter turnout and lower than average interest in political parties or traditional news, there was amongst academics, policy makers and educators, a generally optimistic perception of the potential of the internet in relation to young people’s participation in democratic life. Studies such as Stephen Coleman and Chris Rowe’s Remixing Citizenship (2005) claimed that “What we are seeing is a mass generational migration from old-fashioned forms of participation to newer, more creative forms”. In particular, we found a range of argumentation suggesting that where elections and political parties
14 / Teaching Citizenship / Issue 31 / Autumn 2011 / www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
“What is the connection between young people’s actual civic engagements and democratic realpolitik? And what can be learnt about traditional politics and active citizenship by examining how youth civic action is generally received?”
Shakuntala Banaji PhD lectures in International Media and Film at the LSE. From 2006 – 09, she was UK Researcher on CivicWeb. She has published widely on Hindi Cinema, Audiences, Creativity, Young People and Online Civic Participation.
were losing their youth base, the internet could reconnect politicians with young people and give young people a ‘voice’. There were, however, also much more negative discussions which dismissed the online youth civic sphere as irrelevant and ‘one click activism’. So, what did we find? First we found an abundance of online and offline civic and political activities, many initiated by youth but also many crossStandfirst standfirst standfirst generational ones, including hundreds of standfirst standfirst standfirst civic websites, groups and networks in each standfirst standfirst standfirst of the countries examined. And we did find standfirstthat standfirst standfirst evidence some civic websites for young standfirst standfirst standfirst people are tapping into newer forms of civic and political participation such as ‘ethical standfirst standfirst standfirst consumption’ and ‘copyright infringement’, standfirst standfirst standfirst although it is not always clear whether and standfirst standfirst standfirst how these are linked to traditional or more standfirst standfirst activist forms of political participation. On Body the other text hand, body text some body websites text appear to be body set uptext by quite body traditional text body text civic or political body organizations text bodyas text a kind bodyoftext necessary obligabody tion, atext nodbody to what textthey bodysee text as a 21st century world body text in which body text Google body rules. text This attitude, Body and the text unsurprising body text body lacklustre text participabody tion on text such body websites, text body can text be seen as directly body related text to body a misconceptualisation text body text of all body youngtext people body as text being body ‘thetext digital generation’, body sitting text surfing body the textnet body rather text than out on Body the streets, text body desperately text bodywaiting text to express body themselves text body by posting text body something text or uploadbody ing content. text body Related text body to this, textsome funders of body civic websites text bodyappear text body to think text that complex body and more text body expensive text body sitestext are automatically ‘better’ Body text – abody view text thatbody is often textmisguided. body Through text body extensive text body interviews text with young body text people bodyfrom text different body textregions and body groups text webody found text that body offering text technologibody cal interactivity text body text doesbody not mean text that young Body people text participate body textmore! body text There are many body instances text body of websites text body containing text forums and body message textboards body text on general body text themes relatbody ing totext Europe bodyortext more body global text issues which body are under-utilised text body textor body full text of spam. In these Body circumstances text body it text is evidently body textbetter to offer body a clear, text helpful body text but static body text site with the posbody sibility text forbody emailing text body the organization text than to body offer potentially text body text off-putting body textor even damagbody ing opportunities text body textfor body ‘interaction’. text Forums and interactive applications have to be carefully encouraged, motivated and managed, just as political interest and civic initiative
and independence have to be thoughtfully cultivated and motivated. This takes time, pedagogic skill and money for personnel that most youth civic organizations surveyed do not have and that governments looking Pictured below: to cut the costs of youth services or holding UK Uncut protest traditional views about ‘dutiful citizenship’ in London are unprepared to spend. (Photo: Sašo Slacek)
Further, interaction with the ‘public sphere’ appears to be most successful when it is both peer-to-peer and enables opportunities for reciprocal engagement with those in power. Most youth civic organizations tend to offer one or the other, and engagement with politicians is almost always not reciprocal. More problematically, political authorities and civic elites either engage meaningfully with only the smallest minority of highly privileged and politically connected young people or engage in bland opinion-gathering exercises. Called ‘fake participation’ by Sherry Arnstein, this has the effect of further disillusioning and disengaging many young people. Nearly all the young people in our focus groups expressed varying degrees of extreme or moderate distrust of and/or criticism of the sphere of governmental and party politics. This was true both of young people from disadvantaged and non-engaged backgrounds as well as those in formal civic or political organisations. Politicians were almost uniformly thought by young people in focus groups to be lacking in understanding of common people and
“Interaction with the ‘public sphere’ appears to be most successful when it is both peer-to-peer and enables opportunities for reciprocal engagement with those in power.”
www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Autumn 2011 / Issue 31 / Teaching Citizenship / 15
Theme: Clicktivism Running Head Uncivil authorities / Shankuntala Banaji
young people’s concerns, detached from everyday life, selfish, poor communicators, boring, corrupt and/or ideologically dangerous. Almost the only young people who were more sympathetic to politicians had themselves worked closely with formal political organisations or had ambitions to go into formal politics. If one is interested in e-activism or online participation, it isstandfirst vitally important to Standfirst standfirst have an understanding of the political econstandfirst standfirst standfirst omy of the online civic arena. While the instandfirst standfirst standfirst ternet is mostly regarded as an inexpensive standfirst standfirst method of standfirst disseminating information, this is standfirst standfirst only the case becausestandfirst young people’s labour is deemed to be cheapstandfirst or even free. Addistandfirst standfirst tionally, some producers point out that for a standfirst standfirst standfirst site to be known there needs to be considerstandfirst standfirst standfirst able thought given to marketing, and often standfirst standfirst considerable time spent on trying to get the Body site’s publicity text bodyin text oldbody media text such as televibody sion or text thebody newspapers. text bodyMost text of the websites we body surveyed text body function text body with text a combination body of onetext or two bodypart texttime body paid textemployees and body several text voluntary body text staff. bodyMany text sites cease Body to exist text if and bodywhen text body the volunteers text leave. body Others text arebody not updated text bodyfor text months because body initialtext grants body only textfunded body text the building of the body site and textnot body its text updating body and text maintenance, which body text arebody crucial text tobody success. textYet others Body have decided text body totext open body freetext blogs or Facebook body groups text which bodyrequire text body lower textoverheads, body but here texttoo body thetext responsibility body text for regular body upkeep text orbody ‘housekeeping’ text body text gradually falls body onto the textshoulders body text of body onetext or two dedicated volunteers, Body text body while text the body apparently text ‘enormous’ body potential text base bodyof text young bodysocial text media users body become textincreasingly body text body lesstext involved unless body theretext is also body a pressing text body offline text fora or personbody al reason text for body them textto body be involved. text Websites Body by ‘specialist’ text body groups text body (based texton identity or body locality text orbody single text issues) bodyand textaimed at a very body specific text audience body text amongst body text young people and body produced text body by members text body oftext that specific group, body particularly text body by text young body members, text support a Body sensetext of belonging body textand body‘community’ text and are body moretext intensively body text used. body Online text and offline body are highly text body connected text body both text in leisure and body civic initiatives text body text in young body text people’s lives. There were body clear text body preferences text body shown text by both young people uninterested in politics and by those who were civically/politically active for faceto-face organisation and communication.
“Nearly all the young people in our focus groups expressed varying degrees of extreme or moderate distrust of and/or criticism of the sphere of governmental and party politics.”
• “One of the key motivating factors for continued civic action and interest is who is listening when one participates (on or offline) and the kind of response one gets.”
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One of the key motivating factors for continued civic action and interest is who is listening when one participates (on or offline) and the kind of response one gets. All of our research across the seven countries points in a single direction – when young people engage in civic action, particularly action which is motivated by a wish to see their governments or fellow citizens behave in ways which are more transparent, more democratic, more egalitarian or which challenge unjust or inegalitarian values – they are rarely applauded and frequently suppressed and/or sanctioned by different and interlinked regimes of authority. These range from bureaucracies in schools or colleges to the police to the media. A sense of frustration with this state of affairs was expressed repeatedly in our focus groups with youth: “When we do nothing, we are a sad pathetic generation, with no sense of right and wrong. When we do something the media present us like dangerous criminals or mindless thugs” [Belfast, 2009]. “Graffiti in public places, broken windows and now suddenly we are the bad guys, the anarchists? Have they watched footage of their bombs falling on Iraq? What remains of civil society there?” [Manchester, 2009]. We were also told about numerous occasions on which encounters with police – some using abusive language, batons or rubber bullets, others simply arresting young people for pushing or being in large groups when told to disperse – were the single biggest inhibitor to further participation or protest. Further research suggests that there is an inverse relationship between the threat felt by local elites from a citizens’ protest and the representation of protestor violence/ vandalism in the media. Both the legitimate fear of physical harm or of being labelled a troublemaker which puts young citizens off from being active and double standards in the media towards violence and vandalism need to be addressed by discussions in citizenship lessons. These potentially subjective perceptions have repeatedly been supported by research undertaken by scholars such as Stephen Cushion.
Nor is the online sphere free of the troubles and dangers of offline activism. Many users of sites devoted to issues about sexuality, ethnicity or gender report experiences of being attacked online: dealing with controversial issues of social justice can provoke strong and negative responses from some members of the public as well as from far right and extremist activists, who also mobilise online. In such cases, having a closed Standfirst standfirst standfirst community or requiring pre-moderation standfirst standfirst standfirst may prove necessary, potentially underminstandfirst standfirst standfirst ing the democratic interactive potential of standfirst standfirst the medium. This wasstandfirst confirmed also in standfirst standfirst standfirst relation to social network activism by several young activists: standfirst standfirst standfirst standfirst Hameeda (20): “I standfirst use Facebook for standfirst campaigning – when I need to tell people standfirst standfirst standfirst something quickly, like when we were going standfirst standfirst to have a protest outside the Israeli embassy Body that day textabout bodythe textGaza bodybombing text – I can just body post atext note body andtext name body people, text or tag them in body a photo text which bodyis text a poster body text of the event. But I body can’t argue text body withtext them body online, text I can’t get into body debates. textSocial body text networking body text is very limited Body for that text kind body of text debate. body Facebook text is limited. Also, body text I have body lotstext of ‘friends’ body text at work and from body my family text body whom text I don’t bodyknow text if they agree with body my textopinions body textorbody not … text So sometimes body I choose textnot body to put textmy body status textas what I Body actually textfeel, body politically, text bodyyou textknow. And body then some text body of my text friends body have text done and body they’ve text been body de-friended.” text body text bodyContrary text body totext all the body theoretical text enthusibody asm about text body youth text participation body text and active Body citizenship, text body people textin body positions text of authority body prefertext a certain body text typebody of citizen text action – volbody unteering, text body voting text – to body active textchallenge and body dissent. textThis body surely textmust bodypresent text a challenge body and atext pause body for thought text body amongst text all of us Body involved textinbody citizenship text body education. text Citizenship body education text body in secondary text bodyor text high schools body therefore text body needstext to move body beyond text teaching body abouttext the body structures text body of democratic text society, body governance text body andtext processes body text of voting. Active Body participation text body intext local body decision text making and body debate text should bodybe text central body text to the curriculum body from text a young bodyage text and body encourage text genubody inely text openbody debate, textcritique body text and divergence body of views. textSchools body text and body informal text education centres should also ensure that their own institutional processes are democratic and effective if they are to act as a model for
successful participation. Equally pertinently, these classes need to provide fora for discussing the different types of civic action which can be taken, and the frequently negative experiences young people have with authority in these contexts. Our research suggests that the internet can be a valuable tool for young people who are already engaged in civic and political activity. However, we should beware of assuming that the internet will be a very effective means of engaging young people who are currently disengaged. Different means are required for such young people. On the contrary, there is a danger that the use of technology may reinforce inequalities between young people who are included and those who are not. Young people are a diverse and stratified group cross-cut by age, region, ethnic origin, language, social class, gender, religion and sexual orientation. The mode of address and language on civic websites, even educational ones, aimed at young people needs to take into account that diversity, rather than aiming for a ‘one size fits all’ standard which potentially includes only the most highly educated or motivated young people. Here too, citizenship education must be actively linked to media education and the development of digital literacies. This means that digital literacy needs to move beyond the more mechanical skills of technological competence and information retrieval, and incorporate both critical political and participatory skills. Digital literacy should also include wider debates on data protection, surveillance, privacy and commercialisation especially in relation to new communication technologies. ▪
“Our research suggests that the internet can be a valuable tool for young people who are already engaged in civic and political activity. However, we should beware of assuming that the internet will be a very effective means of engaging young people who are currently disengaged.”
This research is based on the work of seven teams of researchers over the period 20062009 and the contributions dozens of civic organisations and thousands of young people across Europe and Turkey. All the detailed reports can be found and downloaded free from the website www.civicweb.eu. For useful further reading about young people and online participation, please see this article on the act website: teachingcitizenship.org.uk www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Autumn 2011 / Issue 31 / Teaching Citizenship / 17
James Wright is Head of Student Leadership and a Citizenship teacher at Deptford Green School, South East London.
Slacktivism or Activism? Responding to Shankantula Banaji’s piece, James Wright draws upon his own teaching to highlight important principles and approaches necessary when using digital forms of activism with learners. n her article on young people and civic activism (pages 14 - 17), Shakantula Banaji highlights the need for those involved in Citizenship education not just to content themselves with solely teaching about politics, but equip young people in our classes with the knowledge and skills to engage with politics, on both an intellectual and practical level; engaging in what many describe as active Citizenship. Many of the issues highlighted in her study are areas we have already come across in our day-to-day practice, but the practical realities of ‘doing Citizenship’ can offer real challenges to teachers. In this article I will attempt to give a teacher perspective on a number of the issues raised in her research such as the effectiveness of ‘clicktivism’ as a form of active citizenship; the problems associated with resistance to change from decision makers, including those both in schools and the local community; and the issues associated with a lack of reciprocal engagement with those in power. The development of new avenues for political participation through the explosion of technologies, such as social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, has provided us with myriad pathways for enabling young people’s political involvement. Indeed the development of the internet left many scholars and educators hailing it as something of a panacea for the decline in political participation highlighted in the Crick report.
However, not everyone is in agreement on this issue, with a number of arguments being made against the notion that developments in technology provide an answer to problems of political engagement. This is a key question we need to ask ourselves as teachers of Citizenship. We must question whether this type of action is just a quick fix solution (both for ourselves and for the students) to the challenge of providing opportunities for active Citizenship in an environment with so many constraints, time and money to name but a couple. We need to question whether we are substituting ‘clicktivism’ which may make little if any difference to the issues being tackled for real forms of off-line participation, ultimately leading to lower levels of ‘meaningful’ participation taking place. Importantly for us as educators, we must also ask ourselves whether the actions being taken are doing anything to develop the conceptual understanding of students on a given topic or enhancing their skills and knowledge when it comes to taking informed and responsible action. Some may have seen or heard the term ‘slacktivism’ used in the discussion of these issues. For many critics, it best describes the role which the internet, and through this, websites such as Twitter and Facebook now play in the world of political activism. The argument goes that these activities have little, if any actual impact on real political outcomes, serving only to provide an instant gratification on the part of the actor, this being the sole end result much of the time. I have to admit, as a teacher I have some sympathy with this view. It is something I have felt happen in the schools I have worked, particularly when students are engaged with their Citizenship coursework and are looking for some quick actions to ‘tick off’. The majority of our Facebook-savvy
18 / Teaching Citizenship / Issue 31 / Autumn 2011 / www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
“the development of the internet left many hailing it as a panacea for the decline in political participation... [but] a number of arguments [are] being made against the notion that developments in technology provide an answer to problems of political engagement”
students are able to set-up a group on any given topic within a couple of minutes. If the students are particularly dedicated, they may even upload a couple of pictures, post a video from YouTube on the issue, and send invites to all their friends asking them to join. Job done – action taken. They have attempted to raise awareness of an issue, hopefully advocated their opinion and created a space for others to present their own. For many of us this type of active Citizenship does not, and perhaps should not, sit easily. Although at first glance it may seem that a fair amount has been accomplished, and I would suspect this student or group of students would feel very pleased with themselves, we need to ask ourselves: knowledge of which concepts are we trying to develop? How are we going to measure the conceptual development? What was it that made the action informed? How did the student work out the extent to which it was it the most appropriate course of action? How will the impact of the action be measured? These are key questions that we must be able to answer if we, as educators, are doing our jobs properly. Of course I am not saying that the student(s) who took this action shouldn’t feel pleased with their work, or that the action wasn’t justified. Indeed, the importance of the sense of accomplishment, satisfaction, and dare I say empowerment, that many students will feel from having taken part in these actions must not be underestimated. One of the arguments put forward in favour of this type of ‘clicktivism’ is that it acts as a route into further political engagement, developing a sense of political agency in young people, showing them that their learning is not confined to the classroom and is something they can take with them beyond lessons. I don’t deny that sometimes these types of action are beneficial both for
“we need to ask: knowledge of which concepts are we trying to develop? How are we going to measure the conceptual development? What was it that made the action informed? How did the student work out the extent to which it was it the most appropriate course of action? How will the impact of the action be measured?”
the cause and for the student’s education. One of the measures of our success as Citizenship teachers is the extent to which we have taken the time to ensure there is a space for young people to engage critically, both with the issue being addressed and the types of action the students are proposing to take. To achieve this we must ensure that we plan lessons and schemes of work, not with the motivation that young people get online and engage in some sort of e-activism, but that we plan a scheme of work based on conceptual development; on in-depth understanding of an issue; its causes; those affected; how it fits into the bigger picture through its relationship to concepts of democracy, justice etc; with, importantly, time factored in for planning of action to be taken. This necessitates a scheme of work in which students are encouraged to develop a clear understanding of a given issue. Underpinning key questions would include: — What are the causes of the issue? — What’s currently being done to resolve it? — Who/what is responsible for resolving it? — What more needs to happen? — What would be a reasonable outcome with regards to solving the problem? Alongside answering these questions, any scheme of work involving active Citizenship which includes an element of ‘clicktivism’ necessitates the inclusion of at least a lesson or two in which students can engage critically with different types of action that are open to them. Students must first be supported to think carefully about what exactly they hope to achieve – what ideally will happen, and what realistically is achievable? Will setting up a Facebook group be effective at achieving their goals? What other actions could take place to support this? How do students plan to follow up actions taken?
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Theme: Clicktivism Slacktivism or Activism? / James Wright And there’s the rub – unfortunately active Citizenship takes time, and lots of it, both in the preparation and delivery of these lessons. Unfortunately as Citizenship teachers, time is not something we have a lot of, many of us seeing our students once, possibly twice a week if you’re lucky. However, that does not mean such schemes of work are not possible. With some clever planning and resources, it is possible to carry out an effective scheme of work in a half term. It may also be helpful to start off with something local and/or school based, especially. Two of the issues discussed by Shakuntala Banaji were the problem of resistance from decision makers when it came to affording young people opportunities for participation in anything other than tokenistic citizenship activities, and secondly the problem with a reciprocal relationship between the decision-makers and young people. These of course are not only problems that apply to young people. Anybody who has participated in active citizenship activities regardless of their age has felt the sense of frustration at not being listened to, of being brushed off with platitudes. Of course this is common in politics, however as teachers working with young people, many of whom are having their first experiences of political engagement in a more formal sense, it is important that we work to minimize the effects of this problem. In my experience I have found there are a number of things we can do to assist in this. For example, work with the decision makers wherever possible. Your role as intermediary (you may wish to train up other young people (G&T) to help you perform this role) is essential here. If you are thinking of engaging in some form of activism with your students you need to plan out the road ahead as best as you can, try and envisage any potential obstacles and do what you can to minimize the impact of these. Wherever possible make contact with the decision makers in advance. Inform them of what you are working on with your children and sound them out about possible courses of action, and work with the children in the class about how best to exploit these courses of action. This of course is easier if to begin with, you are working at a school level, or with
local government, and I would certainly advise this to begin with. There are fewer things more damaging for young people’s engagement with politics than feelings of being ignored or dismissed. Try and apply some pressure on the decision makers to develop a reciprocal relationship with the young people, at the very least emailing or writing a response and preferably agreeing to come in and meet with your class or better still taking your class to see them. Encourage your students to push for and propose next steps to avoid being brushed off, and if this is not possible try to ensure a satisfactory explanation is given as to why a given course of action is not possible. Indeed from my own experience it is often this lack of explanation which is more damaging than students not achieving their campaigning goals. This approach has benefitted my work greatly at Deptford Green where now, owing to a fruitful working relationship in the past, the local council welcome contact with students on issues they know the students care about. To return to the issue of clicktivism, although many actions may include working online, it is important that young people should be encouraged to understand that true political engagement is not simply a matter of clicking send/sign/like on their keyboards. They need to understand that things don’t happen quickly and must be prepared to try other things, have back-up plans, ideas for compromise and keep lobbying decision makers. To assist in getting this message across I have always found it helpful to call in experienced campaigners (both e-activists and seasoned campaigners) to talk to young people about their experiences and consult with and advise young people. This will help to give young people a bit of context and background understanding as the process of campaigning. For a generation which, to a greater or lesser extent, has become accustomed to quick gratification, this is an important step. Indeed, this is one of the critiques leveled at ‘clicktivism’; the sense of instant gratification from having clicked ‘like’ on a Facebook page, and that’s it, you’ve done your bit. There is a sense that this alienation and distancing from fellow campaigners and from
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“young people should be encouraged to understand that true political engagement is not simply a matter of clicking send / sign / like on their keyboards ... things don’t happen quickly and must be prepared to try other things, have back-up plans, ideas for compromise and keep lobbying decision makers.”
the cause you are fighting is one of the shortcomings of this type of e-activism. Therefore it is important that we as educators ensure that our students understand that although this may be one part of campaigning, that is all it is, just one part, and there are other ways to make a difference also. A particularly successful group I have worked with in this area is the women’s rights organization ‘Object’. This organisation, who have had some great successes in campaigning lately, combine both successful online activism, while recognizing the need to create campaigning communities engaging in fun, interesting and original actions in the real world as well as the virtual. Importantly they have also been very happy to come into schools to discuss their work with young people and advise them with their campaigns. The best campaigns, and therefore the best citizenship schemes of work, use whatever media and forms of action that seem most likely to work given the resources available. We would be foolish to ignore new technology as one element in an overall strategy, but we would be equally misguided to believe this replaced all the other forms of action that have been successfully developed and employed over centuries of citizen action. As educators become more comfortable with blended learning, which uses face to face and on-line teaching, so activists and citizenship teachers might embrace blended active citizenship, combining real-life and virtual action and interaction, always with a clear goal in sight. Five things to consider... 1) If you’re going ‘clicktivist’ make sure that students realise that the activism doesn’t just end when they hit send/like/sign on the computer. If, for example, students have made a blog and/or video about an issue, that’s fantastic, but it’s only half the work. How are they going to promote their work? What do they want the people who see it to do? There is nothing more dispiriting than putting a lot of work into something only for nobody to see it.
“We would be foolish to ignore new technology as one element in an overall strategy, but we would be equally misguided to believe this replaced all the other forms of action that have been successfully developed and employed over centuries of citizen action.”
they are desperate to come into schools. An experienced campaigner can complement the work you are doing with the children and give them the invaluable perspective of an outsider who has been there, done it and got the t-shirt to prove it. They are also able to explain from experience that campaigning doesn’t always yield results overnight, and may require a bit more work than they thought. 3. Do the conceptual groundwork before rushing in to taking actions. This means the students must understand the issue and the advantages/disadvantages of different types of actions before carrying them out. This may be difficult when you have limited time with the students, but students rushing into taking inappropriate actions which will more than likely have little to no effect will ultimately leave your students with feelings of disillusionment and apathy and do more harm than good. 4. Use your position to establish a relationship with local decision makers – become known to them. Inform them early on if you are planning a scheme of work for which they may be called to answer to the children in their school/ward/constituency etc. Put pressure on them to reciprocate the work your students are putting in, meet with them face-to-face wherever possible, and make sure they explain why something is or isn’t happening. If possible train students up in this role, this will have an even greater impact. 5) Reflection is key. Time for reflection on actions taken and their relative success or failures must be built into planning. What impact has a particular action had and how do we know? What else needs to happen now? Think how you can build on the work you and your students have done in future lessons and schemes of work. ▪
2) Work with experts. There are many effective campaigning organisations and often www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Autumn 2011 / Issue 31 / Teaching Citizenship / 21
Millicent Ragnhild Scott, ACT Development Manager, has a Norwegian mother and British father. She is bilingual and grew up in London and Oslo. Her own dual identity is what first inspired her to become academically engaged with concepts of national, cultural and political identity which ultimately lead to her career in Citizenship education.
Norway’s Summer Nothing could have prepared me for what happened on 22nd July 2011. In a tiny, tranquil mountain cabin with no electricity and no running water, a text message came through from a friend: “Bomb in Oslo, tune into the news”– Millicent Scott reports. The news was truly shocking. A massive bomb had exploded in the government quarter (Oslo’s ‘Whitehall’) causing untold damage and the number of dead unknown. Speculation was rife about who could be the perpetrator and why. The most likely scenario seemed to be Islamic terrorists of the type responsible for 9/11 and 7/7. Or maybe Israeli terrorists angry about Norway’s peace-keeping role in Palestine? Al Qaeda seeking revenge for Norway’s soldiers in Afghanistan? While still reeling from the shock of this destruction – and in our Oslo – incredible reports started coming through of a shooting on Utøya – an island synonymous with the Norwegian Labour party’s youth conference. We knew immediately that this was connected to the bomb in Oslo. It was impossible for two such atrocities to occur on the same day with no connection. But this was an attack on our children. The national response was powerful. At the youth camp there were representatives from every county in Norway. Every community was affected – including the small town of Bodø where I was staying 100km north of the arctic circle. Two young people from the Bodø area died
David Cameron signing the Book of Condolences at the Norwegian Embassy, London.
as well as a youth leader who had have completed their worksheets ask moved north for work. The town was them to think about the groups on devastated and turned out en masse the top half of the page and those on for a roseparade through the streets. the bottom – why are they grouped People carried roses in a show of the like this. This should introduce a power of love and peace over the conversation about how the public power of violence and hatred. As in services help in emergencies. The Britain, the red rose is also the logo resource can easily be adapted to of the Labour party and red roses talk about other disasters. were popular in a show of solidarity. I was pleased to be one of the milSecondary lesson lions carrying flowers and showing This lesson creates an opportunity that the power of brotherhood and to discuss what happened in Norway, the Norwegian values of democracy but also suggests a way to think and freedom are more powerful than about the core concept of democracy. the hatred and violence shown by Students are encouraged to think one man on 22nd July. about how a democratic society deals with such atrocities, and to rePrimary lesson flect on what the alternatives might On the following page is a suggested be. Both the primary and secondary classroom activity, which is designed lesson avoid engaging explicitly to enable the Norwegian atrocity to with the killer’s beliefs – time in be discussed in a way that provides citizenship lessons is precious the children with some reason to be and we need to focus on the most optimistic, or hopeful. Once pupils valuable lessons.
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Lesson Plan Norway’s Summer / Primary Resource
Who helps when an atrocity happens and how do they help? Sometimes people do terrible things to other people. It is difficult to know why this happens – often it is because they are angry, or motivated by hate, or maybe they are confused and do not understand what they are doing?
What we can understand is how the rest of us behave. As you find out about the events in Norway complete this sheet describing how people helped. If you cannot find an actual story about these people, think about what they could do to help…
When you have completed your sheet, discuss the following with someone else in the class: (1) What do all the groups above have in common? (2) Why are all those people employed? What are their main roles? (3) Why do so many people help out in an emergency, even if it’s not their job? www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Autumn 2011 / Issue 31 / Teaching Citizenship / 23
Lesson Plan Norway’s Summer / Secondary Resource 1
Translated by Millicent Ragnhild Scott
Source One Extracts from the speech of Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg to the people of Norway on the occasion of the first national memorial on 25 July 2011 – three days after the attacks.
“Evil can kill a person, but it cannot be victorious over a people. Tonight the Norwegian people are writing history. With the most mighty weapons in the world – free speech and democracy – we are setting out Norway’s journey for after 22nd July 2011. There was a Norway before 22nd July and a Norway after, but how that Norway will be is something that we decide for ourselves. It will be a Norway we recognise. Our response has grown in strength over these impossible hours, days and nights we have experienced since the attacks and this response is confirmed with conviction and power here tonight. More openness; more democracy. Steadfastness and strength. This is us. This is Norway. We will reclaim our safety. We must be careful not to draw too many too firm conclusions while we are a nation in mourning, but we can give each other promises already here tonight. First, from all the pain, paradoxically we can see the shoots of something valuable. What we see tonight can be the greatest and the most important march the Norwegian people have set out on since the Second World War. A march for democracy, cohesion and tolerance. Our people across the nation are standing at this moment shoulder to shoulder. There is much to be learned from this. Make more of this. Each and every one of us has the power to make the web of democracy stronger. This we see here tonight. Secondly, to the youth I say the following: the massacre at Utøya is also an attack on the dreams of young people to make the world a better place. Their dreams were brutally crushed: your dreams can come true. You can carry forward the spirit of this evening. You can make a difference. Do it! My message to you is simple: Be engaged. Care about this. Join an organisation. Engage in debates. Use your vote. Free elections are the jewel in the crown of democracy. By participating you are shouting a jubilant yes to democracy.”
Source Two In times of great sadness or happiness people often turn to music. The song that has come to strengthen the bond between people in Norway in the last month is To The Youth of Today by one of Norway’s best known war poets, Nordahl Grieg. The poet, who was born in 1902 died when the plane he was travelling in as a war correspondent was shot down over Nazi Germany in 1943.
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Encircled by enemies, threatening what’s right; though it’s a bloody storm you have to fight! Might you then ask in fear, unarmed and openly “How shall I combat them? What is my weapon?” Here is your battle plan, here is your shield: faith in humankind, and human dignity. War is contempt for life. Peace is creation. Death’s march is halted by determination. We all deserve the world, harvest and seed! Hunger and poverty are born of greed. Thwart war! In the name of life injustice will die. When we create human worth We create peace on earth. Don’t turn your face away from needs of others. Reach out a helping hand to all your brothers. We will protect and keep beauty and grace as if we held a child in a tender embrace!
Lesson Plan Norway’s Summer / Secondary Resource 2
Source Three Norwegian Newspaper Report (Aftenposten 24/08/11) Trust between Norwegians has increased after the attacks on 22nd July – especially trust of people they don’t know – a new report by UNI Rokkansenteret in Bergen and the Institute for Social Science in Oslo reveals. The researchers asked the question “Would you say that most people are trustworthy, or do you have to be wary? Rate your answer on the scale of 1-10.” People’s answers show that the population has shifted nearly a whole point on the scale towards “trustworthy”, moving from a 6 to a 7 on the scale compared to March this year. “There has been a significant increase in trust of strangers and of people from other ethnic groups in Norway” says Dag Wollebæk, one of the authors of “What do terror attacks do to us as a civil society?” 22nd July seems to have had the strongest affect on 16-24 year olds. They have become more engaged with voluntary organisations and their ambition to use their vote is what has increased the most, says Guro Ødegård, one of the report’s authors. Abimanju Wijayendran, Pia Bjerkmann and Per Søreide Senstad at Elvebakken High School in Oslo have noticed very striking changes. They all intend to vote in the local elections on 12th September. “After the terror attacks I’ve had a lot of really kind offers of help and support from complete strangers. It’s been really good to share these things in the midst of all the pain” says Pia Bjerkmann (18). “I feel more included as a Norwegian” says Abimanju Wijayendran (17). “It has been encouraging to see how everyone has come together in support of the fundamental building blocks of our society” says Søreide Senstad (18).
Source One (a) In the Norwegian Prime Minister’s speech, what do you think are the most important messages? (b) There is a message aimed at young people at the end of the speech. What is your response to this? Source Two (a) What is the best weapon to use against enemies, according to Grieg? (See line 11.) (b) Why do you think young people have begun to sing this song now, so long after it was written? (c) Which music would you choose and why? Source Three (a) What evidence is there that the Norwegian Prime Minister’s speech might have had an influence on young people? (b) Why do you think trust has increased after such an atrocity? Thinking about democracy... (a) What do these responses tell you about Norway’s politics? (b) The Prime Minister could have called for harsher sentences for criminals, more police control, secret police surveillance and restrictions on people’s freedom to support extreme political views. Why do you think he did not? (c) What kind of response do you think would be best after such terrible events? (d) Do you agree that voting and democracy can help protect us from violent extremism?
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Teaching Rights Responsibly Victoria Harris uses the summer riots as a starting point to reflect on the challenges involved in understanding and teaching rights. She argues that the looting and the subsequent discussion of it underlines the argument for more rigorous and more sustained teaching about rights.
ditions’ (Stammers, 1999; 981). This makes the presentation of rights in the citizenship programme of study (PoS) problematic, as at historically appropriate times, the struggle for rights may stand in contradiction to the notion of ‘good citizenship’ or what constitutes legal behaviour; obvious examples of this are the Suffragette and anti-apartheid movements. The Making of Rights A key contention surrounding citizenCivil and political rights are rational legal ship education and its contents in the UK is a instruments and innate political tools that tension between on the one hand overt govrequire redress for their protection and ernmental inculcation of a certain political implementation. Rhetoric in the UK highsubjectivity - what Pykett (2007) describes lights a worrying tendency for rights to be as a focus on ‘citizen formation’ – and on the presented as privileges and bargaining chips other the potential for citizenship educathat can be suspended, recalled or scrapped tion to provide a vehicle for transformative in moments of perceived crisis or exception. (Banks, 1997) rather than coercive educaIt is not surprising that in the aftermath of tion. It is important that as educators we are the riots those in power have suggested that aware of this tension and in light of this, how rights can be applied unequally and taken the interpretation of rights in the citizenship away as a punishment. However, in reality PoS plays out in the classroom. Reflecting on the civil, political, economic, social and culhow rights are expressed in classroom practural rights that exist in liberal democracies tice is significant in the wake of the riots and are the result of hundreds of years of strugin light of recent curriculum changes that gle on behalf of the people seeking to limit may undermine citizenship. How is practice often arbitrary power and authority. The contributing to Crick’s original aim, to transimportance of limiting power and promoting form the political culture of the country? democracy through the protection of rights How far are young people empowered to take is demonstrated best by the codification of well informed and reasonable action to change the International Bill of Human Rights after their environment? World War 2 as the international community faced up to the horrors of totalitarianism, Teaching for rights instituted through the erosion of civil and Whether it’s access to food in East Africa, political rights by the Third Reich, and took political freedoms in China, welfare and the decision to limit their sovereignty. work in Europe, rights over natural re In essence, rights exist to protect the sources across the global south and equalcitizen from the state and to legally codify ity everywhere – the struggle for rights to that relationship. They are not gifts from a protect citizens from the interests of power is benevolent state but the hard won concesever more pertinent as the forces of globalisions of the people. From this perspective sation rearrange the structure of political rights are socially constructed they are and economic relationships. Six UN human created and ‘instantiated by human actors in rights treaties, to which the UK is a signaparticular socio-historical settings and contory, include specific obligations (to protect, 26 / Teaching Citizenship / Issue 31 / Autumn 2011 / www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
“in the aftermath of the riots those in power have suggested that rights can be applied unequally and taken away as a punishment. However... rights that exist in liberal democracies are the result of hundreds of years of struggle on behalf of the people seeking to limit often arbitrary power and authority.”
Victoria Harris is an FE lecturer in politics and sociology in west London. Email: email@example.com.
respect and fulfil) for states to provide human rights education, which is necessary for the achievement of one of the aims of the UN: to create a universal culture of human rights. It is recognised that rights are not a ‘done deal’ but are, in fact, evolving living instruments that require exercise and active protection. Human rights organisations, academics and the UN recognise that education to develop and maintain a rights culture needs to be multidimensional, that is, it needs to impart knowledge about rights, the skills necessary to exercise and protect them and also create the attitudinal environment in which they will be understood and promoted. This reflects a consensus on best practice for human rights education; is this reflected in the curriculum, via the agencies of the state and in our classrooms? In light of the recent riots in England and the ensuing political rhetoric this argument may seem controversial; however I would like to argue that there is a constant misinterpretation about human rights in the curriculum and in our wider society, if this continues we face the very real risk of losing rights as an indispensable, democratic check and balance on power. It is essential for our democracy and for the future of the young people we teach that this is addressed. The following discrepancies exist:
“There is an innate problem with trying to create an... environment for rights within an authoritarian hierarchical structure... truly participatory, rights based school environments may promote behaviour for learning...”
1. Rights are taught in an environment which is not rights based. 2. Certain concepts that underpin rights; struggle, universality, inalienability and indivisibility are not rigorously outlined in the curriculum. 3. Rights are conceived both in the curriculum and in the classroom as relating to individual responsibility. There is an innate problem with trying to create an attitudinal environment for rights within an authoritarian hierarchical structure, yet there is a solid belief amongst rights organisations, the UN and academics that truly participatory, rights based school environments may promote behaviour for learning, increase achievement and create an accessible and relevant value base for learners. Osler and Starkey (2005) outline a set of core rights values: dignity and security, participation, identity and inclusivity, freedom, privacy and access to information. These are the values that give rights currency and also the ideals that underpin a rights respecting culture. How far does the life and school experience of young people reflect these values and can we promote these values more in our schools? Amnesty International is currently creating an evidence base to support rights based approaches to schooling in the Human Rights Friendly Schools project. As a starting point, it may be interesting to use the survey Taking the Human Rights Temperature of Your School to ascertain how rights friendly your classroom / school is (this is reproduced following this article). If we are to create a culture of rights (a culture that is non-violent), students also need to be able to access explicit rights concepts: universality, inalienability, indivisibility and most notably struggle – for this aspect there is a specific requirement in the PoS. For citizenship education to be transformative students must be equipped with
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Feature Teaching Rights / Victoria Harris
“the separate conceptual terms ‘rights’ and ‘responsibilities’ seem synonymous however, rights exist without any obligation from the citizen ... we shouldn’t conflate rights, responsibilities and criminality.”
a vernacular and historical understanding which enables them, in the Freirian sense, to ‘name the world’. Rights should not be presented as either a ‘done deal’ or as passive gifts, but presented within their progressive historical context as prizes that need to be retained. Do our current year 10, 11, 12 and 13 students know the relationship between non-discrimination law in the UK and the riots of the early 1980s? What type of action does fighting for rights require? Here the classic comparison between Martin Luther King and Malcolm X is relevant. This content should be mainstreamed through schemes of work on rights. For political reasons rights have been categorised into different generations, however all rights are legally indivisible and inalienable¹. Today, the separate conceptual terms ‘rights’ and ‘responsibilities’ seem synonymous however, rights exist without any obligation from the citizen. This may fuel the laments circulating post-riots that a focus on rights has led to social and moral breakdown which requires a ‘robust’ security response from the state and potentially the loss of rights for citizens. Yet we shouldn’t conflate rights, responsibilities and criminality. Legally rights exist to protect the citizen from the state; the only entity that has any responsibility to protect your rights is the state, as in essence the state is the only entity that can take your rights away. To help young people navigate their way through society it is imperative that they understand the delicate nature of the social contract, whereby citizens agree to respect the law (which is separate from social responsibility or obligation), pay tax and accept the authority of the state as long as that authority declines from infringing upon their rights and freedoms. A member of the Education and Human Rights Network, who lobbied the Labour government to include rights in the Citizenship PoS recounted how hard the group had to fight to change the original wording of 1.2 (Rights and Responsibilities) which read “Students should be taught to recognise that nobody has rights without responsibilities” which is inaccurate regarding human rights and all rights which are indivisible and inalienable. It was changed eventually (see 1.2 b) however state responsibility is still last on the agenda
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behind individuals and organisations². This type of conceptual misunderstanding demonstrates how, potentially, the PoS can be a coercive rather than transformative educative tool. Rights are predominantly tools to secure equality, freedom and justice, subjects that have been brought into sharp relief by the recent civil unrest in England. Young people once again are at the centre of a political debate regarding morals, values and behaviour. Promoting coherent teaching for rights will enable young people to participate in this debate using a historically agreed framework for political engagement ie. rights and this will hopefully help to fulfil the wider aims and objectives of the citizenship programme of study. ▪ This is an abridged version of a longer article.
1. Human rights give all the right to life equally. Civil and political rights exist in liberal democracies and ensure our freedom from tyranny (Churchill), some negative rights can be renounced if an individual is imprisoned. Economic, social and cultural rights are progressive, positive rights that states have an obligation to fulfil. 2. This opens up a very interesting point: a number of human rights cases have been brought against corporations (organisations) in the last two decades (Bhopal, Shell in the Niger Delta) – yet there is no judiciable explicit bill of rights to codify the relationship between corporations and individuals – this demonstrates how imperative it is that rights teaching is progressive, as it is more than likely the need for this and for corporate accountability will become more and more urgent, young people today need to be equipped with the skills to articulate this. References Banks, J (1997) Educating Citizens in a Multicultural Society. Teachers College Press, NY. Osler, A & Starkey, H (2010) Teachers and Human Rights Education. Trentham Books, Stoke on Trent. Pykett,J. (2007) Making citizens governable? The Crick Report as Governmental Technology. Journal of Education Policy. Vol. 22, No. 3, pp301-310. Stammers, N. (1999) Social Movements and the Social Construction of Human Rights. Human Rights Quarterly. Vol. 21, pp980 -1008.
Resource Teaching Rights / Victoria Harris
Taking the human rights temperature of your school Read each statement and assess how accurately it describes your school community in the blank next to it. Keep in mind all members of your school: students, teachers, administrators, staff. At the end, total up your score to determine your overall assessment for your school. Rating Scale 1 = no / never; 2 = rarely; 3 = often; 4 = yes / always. 1. My school is a place where students are safe and secure. 2. All students receive equal information and encouragement about academic and career opportunities. 3. Members of the school community are not discriminated against because of their lifestyle choices, such as dress, associating with certain people, and non-school activities. 4. My school provides equal access, resources, activities, and scheduling accommodations for all individuals. 5. Members of my school community will oppose discriminatory or demeaning actions, materials, or slurs in school. 6. When someone demeans or violates the rights of another person, the violator is helped to learn how to change his/her behaviour. 7. Members of my school community care about my full human as well as academic development and try to help me when I am in need. 8. When conflicts arise, we try to resolve them through non- violent and collaborative ways. 9. Institutional policies and procedures are implemented when complaints of harassment or discrimination are submitted. 10. In matters related to discipline (including suspension and expulsion), all persons are assured of fair, impartial treatment in the determination of guilt and assignment of punishment. 11. No one in our school is subjected to degrading treatment or punishment. 12. Someone accused of wrong doing is presumed innocent until proven guilty. 13. My personal space and possessions are respected. 14. My school community welcomes students, teachers,
administrators, and staff from diverse backgrounds and cultures, including people not born in the UK. 15. I have the liberty to express my beliefs and ideas (political, religious, cultural etc) without fear of discrimination. 16. Members of my school can produce and disseminate publications without fear of censorship or punishment. 17. Diverse voices and perspectives (e.g. gender, race/ ethnicity, ideological) are represented in courses, textbooks, assemblies, libraries, and classroom instruction. 18. I have the opportunity to express my culture through music, art, and literary form. 19. Members of my school have the opportunity to participate (individually and through associations) in democratic decision-making to develop school policies and rules. 20. Members of my school have the right to form associations within the school to advocate for their rights or the rights of others. 21. Members of my school encourage each other to learn about societal and global problems related to justice, ecology, poverty, and peace. 22. Members of my school encourage each other to organise and take action to address societal and global problems related to justice, ecology, poverty, and peace. 23. Members of my school community are able to take adequate break time during the school day and work reasonable hours under fair work conditions. 24. Employees in my school are paid enough to have a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being (including housing, food, necessary social services and security from unemployment, sickness and old age) of themselves and their families. 25. I take responsibility in my school to ensure other individuals do not discriminate and that they behave in ways that promote the safety and well being of my school community. Max Temperature Possible = 100 Human Rights Degrees. The questionnaire is also available from: http://www.hrusa.org/hrmaterials/temperature D Shiman & K Rudelius-Palmer, Economic and Social Justice: A Human Rights Perspective (Minneapolis: Human Rights Resource Center, University of Minnesota, 1999).
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Creating Citizenship Communities One of the reasons for introducing citizenship education was the perceived need to tackle apathy and promote community engagement. But what does this mean, and are we so sure we know what young people are doing and why? In this article – the first of a series to be published in Teaching Citizenship during this academic year – Ian Davies introduces a new research project designed to shed light on this aspect of young people’s citizenship.
about and do in their communities that could help enrich programmes of citizenship education. There is also the possibility that we need more joined up thinking for community cohesion and citizenship education. The review we present below of the academic and professional literature is helping us to highlight the key issues that need to be researched and the ways in which we can begin to shape our resources for professionals and young people (a list of references has not been included in this article but more information is available on the project website).
reating Citizenship Communities is a project funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and led by the partnership team of the Department of Education, University of York and the National Foundation for Educational Research (nfer). The project aims to identify current thinking and practice in schools; explore young people’s perceptions and practice; and create partnerships, in part, through creating educational resources for teachers and young people. The main stages of this project include a review of literature on citizenship and community engagement; a survey of schools; and eight case studies. This article highlights findings from a literature review and subsequent articles will share data collected from young people and their schools.
What Sorts of Engagement are Occurring? Generally, young people are positive about engagement and act as volunteers. The very negative portrayals of young people that are frequently seen in the media are not representative of what most actually do. Community involvement can mean many different things. Regular home and other responsibilities are significant features of young people’s lives (eg. minding siblings; helping with the family business). Young people play vital roles in immigrant families (eg. helping with translation and other matters). There are preferences for particular sorts of involvement. Engagement with charities, sports and single issue campaigns may be more common than some other activities such as formal civic participation. There is growing attention paid to the use of new media by young people. It is possible that this will challenge our traditional notions of linear, formal, physical engagement in favour of virtual involvement.
The Context for Community and Citizenship We know from research and inspection evidence that schools do a good, and improving, job of citizenship education. Schools also create many excellent relationships with local and other communities. But we know very little about what young people know
Who is taking part? Urban youth from deprived neighbourhoods make contributions to – and have a detailed and highly specialized knowledge of – their local communities. But some research has
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“We know from research and inspection evidence that schools do a good, and improving, job of citizenship education. But we know very little about what young people know about and do in their communities that could enrich programmes of citizenship education.”
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
suggested that those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds may be less likely to act civically. Women tend to volunteer more than men. Barriers, motivations and facilitation Many young people feel that there are significant barriers to them becoming involved in community action. If there is a gap between their own and official characterizations of community there may be deliberate disengagement. Social deprivation (not diversity) reduces engagement. Social capital (or its absence) and a sense of efficacy are significant for predicting involvement. People may engage due to altruism; a feeling that their community belongs to them; because they want to achieve specific civic or political goals; and in order to develop skills and enhance experience (which may be helpful in, for example, job applications). Participation can be successfully encouraged. Families and social networks may be important in that process. An inclusive ethos, welcoming physical environment and a willingness to deal realistically and honestly with issues, encourage young people to take part. Financial support (e.g. the payment of public transport costs to help young people attend a volunteering site) and publicity may help. Those who are able to promote involvement display good interpersonal skills; are able to target key decision makers to gather support; act carefully when volunteering or other engagement relates to a controversial topic; maintain realistic commitments and so do not burn out; and, focus on catalysts for change by, for example, deliberately focussing on those young people who are likely to influence peers. There is disagreement about the extent to which young people are influenced by incentives but there seems to be fairly general support that training, awards and the opportunity to work with friends are effective. Citizenship education and community engagement Citizenship education is very relevant to community engagement in the form of classroom based explorations of issues, whole school involvement and in the development of relationships with people in the local-
“Citizenship education is very relevant to community engagement in the form of classroom based explorations of issues, whole school involvement and in the development of relationships with people in the local community.”
ity and elsewhere. Regarding citizenship education, schools are variously described as ‘progressing’ (ie. undertaking wide ranging actions); ‘focused’ (ie. curriculum driven); ‘implicit’ (ie. focusing on extracurricular initiatives); and ‘minimalist’ (ie. operating at an early stage of development). There are many different approaches used in citizenship education. Didactic teaching is supplemented by discussion about topical issues; skills are explicitly targeted; some opt to explore relevant concepts; leadership opportunities are provided within and beyond schools. Good links, however, do not always exist between schools and communities. Conclusion We know that certain situations discourage engagement and we know that many (but not all) young people are already taking part in very responsible ways. Most estimates seem to suggest about 40% of young people volunteer (although there are difficulties about this as there are very different definitions of engagement). It is possible to increase levels of participation. Many schools already successfully promote citizenship education and community engagement. But our understandings of young people’s characterizations of coherent community citizenship are not clear and we lack well established educational practices, and the resources, that are needed to support such work. The next article in this series will address these outstanding issues. ▪ This research project is led by the University of York (Ian Davies, Gill Hampden Thompson, Maria Tsouroufli, Vanita Sundaram) and the National Foundation for Educational Research (Jen Jeffes, Pippa Lord). For information email the team at: email@example.com or see the website at: www.york.ac.uk/education/research/cresj/ citizenship-communities.
www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Autumn 2011 / Issue 31 / Teaching Citizenship / 31
‘To learn and serve’ what can we learn from US traditions of service learning? ety of experiences, eg. neighbourhood beautification projects, planting a school garden and making a video to help younger students make the transition to a new school. John Annette has argued that service learning has progressed from an early focus on community-based internships, towards a model which links the service element irst we saw the pilot programmes more explicitly to citizenship learning. This for Cameron’s voluntary citizenis reflected in the following list of common ship programmes, and then after characteristics of service learning projects the summer riots, David Blunkett (www.servicelearning.org): called for a form of citizenship na- • They are positive, meaningful and real to tional service for 100,000 young the participants. people. In the usa there is a strong • They involve cooperative rather than comtradition of ‘service learning’ petitive experiences and thus promote skills where the dominant ideas are very associated with teamwork and community similar to those being discussed by involvement and citizenship. politicians. In this article I consid- • They address complex problems in comer what we might learn from this plex settings rather than simplified probtradition, and also ask why we in England lems in isolation. have not built on this tradition before. • They offer opportunities to engage in problem-solving by requiring participants Service Learning in the USA to gain knowledge of the specific context Service Learning is defined by Wilczenski of their service-learning activity and thus and Coomey as “an experiential approach to promote critical thinking. education that involves students in mean• They promote deeper learning because ingful, real-world activities that can advance the results are immediate and uncontrived. social, emotional, career, and academic • They are more likely to be personally curricula goals while benefitting communimeaningful to participants and to generate ties”. Typically a service learning project emotional consequences, to challenge values includes a connection between the academic as well as ideas. curriculum and an experience that meets Service learning advocates also chamreal community needs in some context, for pion projects which develop social capital, example a project called Each One, Teach One improving attitudes towards ‘others’, enabinvolved student teachers participating in ling students to feel more of a connection a project to help with the recovery of New to local communities and developing moral Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. University reasoning. They can also be used to structure students cleaned up public parks and school community based research projects as buildings during the mornings and then tu- opportunities for students. When working tored school students during the afternoon, well these are reciprocal – they promote maintaining these relationships for several student learning and further the aims of the years through online tutoring. School-based partner organisation and so possibly make service learning projects include a wide vari- a direct contribution to wider social aims.
In recent months the citizenship debate has turned away from the curriculum and towards community experiences which will inculcate a sense of responsibility and service in young people, Lee Jerome investigates.
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“Service learning is ... education that involves students in meaningful, real-world activities that can advance social, emotional, career and academic curricula goals, while benefitting communities.”
Lee Jerome is the Chair of the ACT Council and edits the journal. He is also the Secondary PGCE Programme Director at London Metropolitan University. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Service Learning in England There are some advocates for service learning in England but it is far from establishing itself as a common term. Despite this there is clearly a considerable overlap between the two models of service learning and active citizenship. Both are increasingly conceived of as projects for promoting the skills of informed and critical citizenship, as opposed to being merely ‘good citizens’, in the mould of ‘good neighbours’. Both embrace the established traditions associated with experiential and reflective learning, in which the learning must be distilled somehow from the experience, rather than simply being assumed to arise spontaneously from the experience. Both also share a commitment that the best learning in this area is gained through direct experience, rather than as a ‘preparation’ for citizenship. However, my own experience of attending a conference on Service Learning led me to suspect that many practitioners were actually still rather more focused on the service element (where service is defined as a form of charity or even more simplistically as ‘doing good for disadvantaged people’) than they were on the rigorous identification and assessment of citizenship learning. And in some ways this reflects a similar situation in England where, despite the best efforts of Crick to warn them away, many teachers have taken up relatively easy opportunities for their students to volunteer or raise money for charity, without the political literacy dimension being developed. The model of the good citizen I suspect still exists in tension with the active citizen, at least in some projects regardless of whether we call them active citizenship or service learning. A Future for Service Learning? If the new government reviews the current form of citizenship education in the curriculum, this may enable schools to experiment with different forms of community participation. If the requirement to promote active citizenship were completely removed it would deter many schools from investing the necessary time, effort and expertise in such challenging opportunities. However, it is also possible that a statutory aim or entitlement without a compulsory
curriculum may lead to even more similarities with the tradition of service learning and, as the discussion above implies, this may not be altogether a negative development in terms of building the foundations of democratic citizenship. The continuing struggle within service learning and active citizenship education is to ensure there is a
political literacy dimension to some experiences, so that these also contribute to the development of young people’s critical understanding of citizenship. However, community based projects, volunteering, fund raising and even perhaps simple service can sometimes be interpreted as political acts in themselves and at other times these experiences can be interrogated in order to appreciate their political contexts. These types of activity should not be seen as the only valid types of active citizenship experiences; they can also sit alongside other activities such as elections, campaigning and direct political lobbying. A pragmatic active citizenship education might more explicitly embrace the range of experiences rather than attempt to exclude some valuable activities on the grounds that they are merely examples of being a ‘good citizen’. Perhaps the Big Society affords us an opportunity to bring into alignment the school-based activities and the theoretical rationale for the subject. ▪
Pictured below: Service learning project at Laramie County Community College, Wyoming, USA.
“Community based projects, volunteering, fund raising and even perhaps simple service can sometimes be interpreted as political acts in themselves.”
This is a shortened version of an article ‘Service Learning and Active Citizenship Education in England’ which will appear in the journal Education, Citizenship and Social Justice. www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Autumn 2011 / Issue 31 / Teaching Citizenship / 33
Tricia Manktelow is a Citizenship teacher at Dartford Technology College and an ACT Council member. Email: email@example.com.
Diary of a Debate Debutante In the first installment of her diary, Tricia Manktelow embarks on establishing a debate society from scratch (any suggestions welcome by email!) The email appeared in my inbox sometime in May. If I ignored it I could still go for my relaxing Friday night swim and keep my appointment to meet up with a friend. And then I thought, come on Toot, where’s your professionalism? If you don’t commit to these events who will and how can you expect Management to take you and your subject seriously? So I forwarded the email to Year 10 form tutors – almost secure in the knowledge that I would be seen to have done the right thing but that I wouldn’t have to do anything more! How wrong could I be? Five minutes into afternoon registration there were six girls knocking on my door demanding permission slips and more information. Two minutes later there were three more and then another and another. Stop! The email specified a maximum of ten students, I tried to deter them. “Oh, but Miss, I’m really interested” “It’s after school” – “Yes, I know” “It’s Friday evening” – “Yes, I know” “It’s about politics” – “Yes, I know, I want to be involved” “Ok, I’ll sort it out.” Nothing wrong with their skills of persuasion I thought to myself. The day came and I arrived at the venue early, along with most of the other participants. After some increasingly panicked phone calls,
the girls arrived late for the debate competition, flustered after some confusion on the bus. “Competition!” they said, “What’s this about a competition?” They looked at me wide eyed as I explained the Mayor, local MP and youth parliament representative would judge the best debating team. Gulp! Ok, I thought, at least it will give the girls a chance to see other groups in action and if they are smart they will learn as they go along and won’t make such a pig’s ear of it. We were up third. J began by stating their point of view but didn’t have any examples to support it that hadn’t already been used. Lots of “You knows” and arm waving ensued; lots of repetition of the same point; plenty of vagueness, “they (unspecified) should involve us after all it is about us and what we need”; then a diversion about public transport. They were still trying to make their first point when the buzzer went. Afterwards the girls accosted me. “Why didn’t you tell us it was a competition? Why didn’t you tell us we had to debate? Why don’t we do this at school?” Far from being dejected, they wanted more. They wanted to learn more about politics; to develop debating skills; to learn how to present their arguments succinctly; and to feel able to play a greater part in local policy making and decisions. “Wow!” the optimist in me thought, by some strange quirk of fate I had started to get these girls excited in Citizenship and political debate. “Whoa!” the realist countered, this could just be the honeymoon
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effect, let them muse on it over the weekend, wait until Monday. And so on Monday I collected the girls together for a post mortem. They were still on a high. Yes, they did still want to find out more about politics and how it works. They want to learn debating skills and yes, they definitely would participate in an extracurricular group. So here I am, I’ve collected the videos of the debate competition, ready for further analysis; I’ve started finding out how other school groups have started and what they have done, so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel; I’ve cleared the plans with Management; I’ve asked act colleagues for advice; and I’ve emailed our mp to invite him in to inaugurate our new group. And now I’m ready for September and the launch of the new Political Knowledge and Debating Society with much publicity, noise and razzmatazz! ▪
Resource Parliament Week / 31 October – 6 November 2011
The inaugural Parliament Week launches on 31 October 2011. This is an exciting opportunity to explore the work and role of Parliament and, through the theme Stories of Democracy, encourage students to see how decisions made in Westminster have an impact on their lives. See www.parliamentweek.org and the projects below, for how your students can get involved. Picturing Democracy This national photography project encourages people to take a picture that commemorates an historical event or person that contributed to the development of democracy, or an image that represents a modern story of democracy in the uk. www.flickr.com/groups/picturingdemocracy. Stories of Democracy: Making a Difference Parliament’s Education Service and Filmclub have produced a short film for Parliament Week 2011, featuring interviews with several key politicians and young Filmclub ambassadors. Focusing on their varying personal experiences, the film will encourage young people across the UK to think about how they can help make a difference and create their own stories of democracy. The film will be available on Parliament’s Radiowaves network from midOctober. www.radiowaves.co.uk/ parliament. That’s not all – young people themselves have an opportunity to contribute. The Parliament Radio-
waves network will feature content from young people in the form of blogs, photos, films and podcasts, and is open for any young person to upload their own. Prizes will be on offer for the best responses. UK Youth Parliament Debate in the House of Commons Chamber On 4 November, Members of the uk Youth Parliament will travel from all parts of the country to debate and vote on the top five topics from their manifestos in the House of Commons chamber (as pictured in the photograph above). Chaired by the Speaker, the Rt Hon John Bercow mp, the debate will be broadcast live on bbc Parliament channel. You can also look at the topics under discussion on their website: www.ukyp.org.uk. Why not hold your own debate in school in the same week (supporting resources are available on Parliament’s Education website at www. parliament.uk/education), or enter the bbc Schools Question & Answers competition (details below). Hansard Society Young People’s Question Time Monday 31 October 2011, 6.30pm Houses of Parliament The Hansard Society is hosting a special event in Parliament to encourage young people to put their questions to a cross-party panel of mps, chaired by Krishnan GuruMurthy (Channel 4 News). The event is free to attend and open to all young people. To register, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 020 7438 1216.
Parliament and Schools A joint resource pack, from Parliament’s Education Service and the Hansard Society to prepare students for a visit from either an mp or a member of the House of Lords. It can be used as a complete scheme of work or individual activities. A downloadable version is available at: www.parliament.uk/educationresources/parliament-and-schoolspack.pdf or email: citizenship@ hansard.lse.ac.uk. MyUK A new interactive educational activity, produced by Parliament’s Education Service, with the awardwinning games studio, Preloaded. This creative resource allows players to take charge of Britain as the Prime Minister and to choose and pass new laws, customise their country and pursue their own vision of the uk. Teacher support materials are available on Parliament’s education website: www.createmyuk.org. Schools Question & Answers A new development to the Schools Question Time competition, run by the bbc Question Time team, bbc Radio 4, Institute for Citizenship and Parliament’s Education Service, this is an opportunity for students to run their own Question Time webcast, broadcast live on the bbc website or host an edition of bbc Radio 4’s Any Questions? at their school. All the details are available at: www.parliament.uk/education/in-your-school. Why not use Parliament Week as a focus for encouraging students to enter a debate into the competition?
www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Autumn 2011 / Issue 31 / Teaching Citizenship / 35
Hugo Goodson is Subject Leader for Citizenship and PSHE at Lodge Park Technology College, Northamptonshire.
www.citizenshipteacher.co.uk Annual Subscription: £25 per teacher (40% discount for ACT members: £15) Review by Hugo Goodson
We Can Be Heroes by Catherine Bruton Published by Egmont Press £6.99 ISBN 978-1-4052-5652-0 Review by Millicent Scott (The author gave readings at ACT’s Teaching Controversial Issues CPD event in July.)
Many of you may have masses of teacher resource books sitting in your cupboards that never get used. Teachit have now provided a resource that is very different in its approach and I think that you will use if you buy it. Citizenship Teacher works on a subscription model and for your £25 a year, you get access to a considerable bank of lesson plans, PowerPoints and Flash resources. It is also possible to obtain a free subscription but for that, you only get access to pdf files which means that you cannot edit the lessons. There are a variety of lessons to be found on the site and they vary in quality from good to excellent. They are the sort of resources that need adapting and I have not yet used a lesson exactly as it says on the plan, but that’s the value of being able to download and edit the material. They are also lessons for the enthusiastic citizenship teacher. If you give them to someone who really does not want to be teaching the subject, you are likely to get the answer: “This sounds too much like hard work.” The lessons are heavily based on active learning and are designed to provide students with a fun experience in citizenship. At the same time as providing fun resources, the lessons are topical so in the past we have seen topics like MPs expenses and there are currently some in the latest resources section on the future of the citizenship curriculum. All the lessons are mapped to the National Curriculum and there are plenty of opportunities for rigorous assessment. This resource won’t necessarily take the work out of being a citizenship teacher. Although some of the lessons might serve that purpose, it serves as a bank of high quality resources to dip into to create really high quality citizenship lessons. ▪
This novel is about a group of 11ish year old children and their summer adventures in the dangerous suburban world of Ben and Jed’s middle class grandparents’ street, where they meet Priti from across the road. Ben, Jed and Priti have exciting – and quite frankly hilarious – adventures, contending with such dangers as Priti’s siblings, Jed’s dad, international terrorism and the bomb squad! The language used by the children and their half-understandings of the adult world is entertaining for adults and accessible for Key Stages 2-3. The book is set against the rather clichéd background of Muslim-Christian relations. Ben’s dad was on business in New York in the Twin Towers on 11th September, so Ben has grown up not knowing his dad and with a mother with mental health problems. Jed and Priti, for different reasons, also have difficult relationships with their parents. The issues of importance to the children are typical of their age-group and by seeing the adult world of organised religion and social mores through the eyes of the children, the worst clichés are avoided, giving a fresh approach to some of these concepts and the strange behaviour of adults. However, it is quite clearly written by an author with limited appreciation of Islam and its teachings. If this book is to be used in classrooms it would need to be accompanied by a thorough look at the pillars and teachings of Islam as well as those of Christianity. Pupils would need to understand why it is so wrong to associate Islam with terror. Certainly there is a lot of scope for asking pupils probing questions about why the characters respond as they do and what they might be thinking, understanding or misunderstanding. The author beautifully develops some of the characters’ relationships with each other. Altogether a highly entertaining and accessible read. ▪
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Avoiding Death by PowerPoint www.prezi.com www.present.me/education Review by Lee Jerome You may not go as far as the Swiss political party which has been formed specifically to abolish PowerPoint (www.anti-powerpointparty.com) but you may be thinking it’s getting a little bit familiar and a little bit dull. If so, there are at least two ways in which you can continue to use technology to improve your presentations and to freshen things up a little bit. The first piece of software I’ve been using is Prezi – ‘the zooming presentation software’. A basic account is available for free and it enables you to combine text, images and video files in a much more fluid way than PowerPoint. The main difference is that instead of having a sequence of slides, Prezi provides you with a large ‘canvas’ and you can zoom in and zoom out, which means text can be hidden within images. Because you can place images and videos all over the canvas there is also a function to create pathways through the bits of information, so you can still have a sequential presentation if you choose, or you can experiment and simply zoom in on different areas of your presentation depending on how things develop. It’s visually impressive because there is a fluid movement between each stage of the presentation, a little like an aerial camera, hovering and zooming. The movement is so authentic that I had to abandon my first experiments because I had used a bit too much spinning and the final product caused sea sickness. The main technical innovation I like is the ease of dropping in videos from You Tube, which simply
connect up and play once you have added the url. My first public unveiling of a Prezi took place last year on my pgce course and the same lecture on assessment I had given for the past four years got a round of applause for the first time, simply because I had transferred the information across to Prezi from PowerPoint. And for that reason alone, I urge you to log on and have a go. There are plenty of excellent examples published on the website, so it’s well worth having a look to see if inspiration may strike. The second possibility is Present.me a website which has only just come to my attention. The idea is simple, but really useful for schools, and like Prezi, there is a basic free account for you to play around with. It allows you to upload a PowerPoint presentation and then to record an accompanying video/ audio presentation. The examples on the site demonstrate how this has been used by students, to record a presentation; and by teachers to record mini-lectures on topics or to set homework tasks. The final presentation appears as
a split screen with the video presentation running on the right and the PowerPoint slides on the left, progressing in time with the speaker. This looks like a great way to record presentations, and to encourage students to practice and review their presentation skills. It also looks like it could prove valuable for providing resources to share with other teachers, and to provide some support for students who cannot attend school, or who are off-site for any reason. The emailed invitation to try Present.me only arrived the weekend before the journal went to press, so there wasn’t much time for me to tackle the glitches which appeared to be stopping me from trying it out for myself. But even with that little word of warning, the finished products that people have published on the website have convinced me that it will be worth persevering with, and I would at least recommend a visit to the site to see what’s on offer. ▪
Correction Review Amendment, Summer 2011 School Council Handbook for Primary Pupils • The correct link for the Schools Councils website is: www.schoolcouncilshop.org. • This booklet does not replace previous documents but is an update of the old handbook and is one of a series of linked resources for pupils and teachers. Sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.
www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk / Autumn 2011 / Issue 31 / Teaching Citizenship / 37
ually ... learning about parliament isn’t dry, it’s slippery Discussing parliamentary reform provides a conversation in which we can re-imagine our own role as citizens, Lee Jerome comments. The first Parliament Week is scheduled for 31st October – 5th November, with the theme Stories of Democracy. Citizenship textbooks often present a fixed idea of parliament and de-emphasise parliamentary change, but talking about changing parliament is one of parliament’s main preoccupations. The Coalition Programme for Government included commitments to the following reforms: • Fixed five year parliaments • Electoral reform referendum • The power of recall over MPs, if 10% of their constituency think they’re doing a bad job • E-petitions, allowing the public to trigger parliamentary debates (www.epetitions.direct.gov.uk) • A new Public Reading stage for legislation to collect views from outside of parliament • A wholly (or largely) elected second chamber • More control for MPs over parliamentary business. In addition constituency boundaries are being redrawn as the number of MPs is being reduced to 600 and constituency size is being reviewed to ensure greater parity. These could make a significant difference to how parliament works and how we, as citizens, relate to it.
However, it takes more than worthy ideas to make parliamentary reform successful, as Nick Clegg found to his cost on the AV referendum. Greg Power reflected on this struggle in 2007, and noted five reasons why it’s more difficult than we realise to reform parliament: 1. Reformers need to acknowledge vested interests – the Lords consistently votes for an appointed second chamber, which stalls reform. Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas. 2. Change is more likely when there is a package of reforms, because it’s too easy to pick off a single reform on its way through parliament. Better to sweeten a big reform pill and get it all over with. 3. Parliamentarians are not necessarily the best defenders of Parliament. MPs are more likely to favour their party over parliament as one illustrated when he declared ‘I don’t give a f--- about scrutiny, I want the chance to score points off the government’; and sometimes they’re guided by basic personal motivations, as John Butterfill MP indicated in his letter to a Committee considering the length of the summer recess, ‘those of us who no longer have school age children rather treasure the opportunity of taking a holiday in early September, thereby avoiding the excessive heat, overcrowding and overpricing of August.’ 4. Government rarely has a uniform opinion on parliamentary reform. Prime Ministers in
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particular rarely seem to be wedded to parliamentary reforms, and can therefore be easily blown off course when the going gets tough. 5. Reform is political and in politics it takes a lot more than a rational idea to win the argument. So in Parliament Week let’s take a few minutes to delve into some of the real Stories of Democracy and to remember that whatever changes are currently on the agenda, “finality is not the language of politics” (Disraeli). Whatever we teach this year about parliament is likely to have to change (just a little bit) by next year. ▪ Reference Power, G. (2007) ‘The Politics of Parliamentary Reform: Lessons from the House of Commons (2001–2005)’, Parliamentary Affairs, 60 (3), 492-509.
Proposed housing benefit cap
MP’s accommodation allowance (with main home outside of London)
Maximum pay – Excellent Teacher scale
Head Teacher’s pay (Leadership Scale 43)
Cabinet Minister’s salary
The Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT) is the professional membership association for primary and secondary school teachers involved in delivering Citizenship education. Teaching Citizenship is our magazine. It comes out once a term and is sent direct to all our members. It complements our online resources, our monthly e-newsletters and our face-to-face training or in-school CPD – all these are available to members. ACT membership provides an outstanding opportunity for professional development, whether you’re new to Citizenship or an old hand. We are a teacher-led independent charity with over 2,000 members across the country, whose principal charitable objective is to further the aims of citizenship teaching and learning. For teachers, ACT membership is only £35 for the whole year. If you’re not already a member then join now and get your own copy of this magazine – together with all the other support we offer you for teaching citizenship.
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‘Amnesty’s delightful book We Are All Born Free explains the importance of human rights through truly beautiful illustrations. It is clear, simple and uplifting and makes it very easy to raise difficult subjects, even with young children. It is a wonderful educational tool and I strongly believe that every school should own a copy.’ Emma Thompson
FREE BOOKS FOR SCHOOLS to mark National Children’s Book Week Primary schools across the UK can now request a free copy of Amnesty International’s award-winning book We Are All Born Free, in a special project funded by Emma Thompson and other Amnesty supporters. We Are All Born Free is a superb collection of 30 beautiful illustrations that interpret our human rights, suitable for ages 5+. Top illustrators who contributed pictures include Axel Scheffler (of Gruffalo fame), Korky Paul and John Burningham. Schools will also receive a free copy of Amnesty’s excellent primary schools resource Learning About Human Rights in the Classroom, which is full of innovative lesson plans. Simply go to www.amnesty.org.uk/primary to place your order. This is a free offer, but we ask schools to pay a total of £4.50 towards postage and packing (which includes both the book and the primary resource). Local education authorities can save postage costs by placing a bulk order on behalf of primary schools. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0845 458 9910. Secondary schools will find many free, exciting resources on human rights education at www.amnesty.org.uk/education
ENGLISH ASSOCIATION SPECIAL AWARD 2008 WINNER USBBY OUTSTANDING INTERNATIONAL BOOK READ ME BEST BOOKS 2009 BEST NON FICTION TITLE OF THE YEAR
'Teaching Citizenship' is the journal of the UK Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT). The theme for this issue is 'Clicktivism', or Di...