Local citizenship in the global era: educating for community participation and change
journal contributionposted on 13.04.2018, 15:00 by Lieve Gies
(Opening paragraph) What clothes should the emperor be given to wear to avert suspicion that there are no new clothes after all? This, in a nutshell, is the issue Findlow seeks to tackle in Local Citizenship in the Global Arena: Educating for Community Participation and Change with reference to citizenship education in England. As the opening pages suggest, the list of problems besetting citizenship education is long and varied. Policy-wise, there is confusion as to the scope and purpose of citizenship education in the UK: it is not clear if the aim is to educate young people about or for citizenship. Evidently, these two facets are intimately related: one can only exercise the responsibilities that come with citizenship when one is sufficiently knowledgeable about its key aspects. However, enabling young people to participate in the polity takes much more than just teaching them about the institutions or the electoral system. The criticism articulated in this book is that policies around citizenship education are muddled and confused, but also half-hearted in their implementation, and this in spite of efforts by, for example, the Crick Commission and the Parekh Commission to define its content and objectives. In practice, it seems, the subject is all too often taught by teachers who do not have the knowledge, the confidence and the institutional support to promote learning in this area.