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discourse – surely a precondition of the cynicism and ignorance that worried Crick. Professor John Craig is a political scientist and dean of the School of Social Sciences at Leeds Beckett University. He co-founded the Political Studies Association (PSA) Specialist Group on Teaching and Learning. “Things have become more complicated and there is far more media out there, so we have less of a shared point of reference, and that can be problematic,” Craig says. “It is necessary to develop skills to help people determine where information is from and how to assess it. “Who’s making the claim? Are they credible? This can be applied to all sorts of learning as well as politics, and it goes beyond to things like personal finance.” But while the Crick report led to citizenship education being included in the national curriculum in 2001, there is no obligation on further education providers or teachers to offer it – despite Crick’s recommendation that government explore ways of providing citizenship education post-16. “It does not make a lot of sense to end citizenship


at 16,” says Liz Moorse, chief executive of the Association for Citizenship Teaching, a charity set up by Crick in 2001 to support citizenship education. “I would argue for an entitlement for citizenship and democracy education in post-16 education, whether


students are learning in college or the workplace.” Moorse sees ample opportunity for FE providers and educators to encourage learners to consider wider social issues, the importance of evidence and critical evaluation within the context of their courses. “There are plenty of opportunities in which


citizenship education can be embedded post-16, including vocational areas, and it would be a natural extension of what is being done by many providers already,” Moorse says. “Take hairdressing – one of the issues might be to look at sustainability of products. Many teachers will already be looking at opportunities to embed aspects of citizenship in their courses.” Stephen Lambert, who runs Education4Democracy, a non-partisan charity that supports democratic engagement in schools and colleges through visits and talks, agrees with Moorse, although he believes there is also scope for standalone sessions on democracy and politics. “Education is about much more than meeting the economic needs of employers, important though that is,” Lambert says. “We have a moral obligation to prepare people for a democratic role in wider society. “Some of this could be done in a couple of timetabled sessions a year covering topics such as how and why we vote, what some of the key political issues are, and so on.” While there is no citizenship curriculum in FE per se, students and their teachers do cover topics such as democracy, the rule of law, and tolerance of and respect for others through the British Values (BVs)


inTUITION ISSUE 38 • WINTER 2019 13


Cameron Law


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