Citizenship in Urban Contexts by malj

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									Citizenship in Urban Contexts

Manchester: The Urban Context- Erica Pounce
Erica Pounce Acting Head of Manchester Education Partnership and Assistant Chief
Education Officer welcomed delegates to Manchester. Her presentation initially focussed
upon issues of urban deprivation, unemployment, poor school attendance and the
diversity of Manchester’s population reflected in a school population of 33 percent ethnic
minority heritage. She then spoke positively of the urban regeneration taking place and
the £164m from the Government to rebuild schools in the city, but despite this
acknowledged that crime, drug use and poor health continue to be of concern in the
community.

Erica emphasised the strategic importance of Manchester’s Healthy Schools Initiative
and Citizenship being central to addressing these issues and through active
participation, giving young people a voice and involving them in the decision making
process. In so doing young people would gain in confidence and develop the skills
necessary to bring about change in their own communities. She drew attention to the
Every Child matters legislation as a capacity building opportunity to help all children, and
especially vulnerable children, to achieve, be healthy, stay safe, make a positive
contribution and achieve economic well-being in building a vibrant Manchester for the
future.

Citizenship in England- Jan Newton OBE
Jan Newton, the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) Adviser for Citizenship
emphasised the importance of the ‘political will’ necessary to sustain and make things
happen in the post Crick era ( http://www.qca.org.uk/6123.html ) and implementation of
Citizenship as a statutory subject in schools since 2002. In responding to the question,
‘why was it important to introduce Citizenship in schools?’ Jan spoke of a society in
which people increasingly feel rootless and of the conflict between the values of
consumerism and community cohesion. She stressed that Citizenship Education in
England is not ‘civics’, but whilst recognising that knowledge and understanding of the
role civic institutions is important, emphasised the value of developing skills to build
competence and confidence in thinking critically, being active and making a difference.

Jan described the features of successful Citizenship in schools where a core of
Citizenship is taught by trained teachers and children are clear that they are ‘doing
citizenship’, and that the school espouses citizenship values and not just teach them.
Jan noted that David Bell Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools www.ofsted.gov.uk in
a recent speech had argued that Citizenship should be central to the development of the
whole school and that community involvement was a key part of this. She also noted the
important contribution of NGOs and the Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT)
www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk to the continuing development of Citizenship. In
concluding Jan emphasised the importance of the continuing professional development
of teachers in order to ensure that the entitlement for all children to participate is seen as
a right and not negotiable.

The Citizenship Longitudinal Study- David Kerr
David Kerr, Principal Research Officer at the National Foundation for Educational
Research (NFER) and Council of Europe Year of European Citizenship through
Education Co-ordinator for the UK in introducing the Longitudinal Study, drew delegates’
attention to the Council of Europe Learning and Living Democracy tool kit.
www.coe.int/edc . David explained that the Longitudinal Study had begun in 2002 and is
tracking a cohort of year 7 pupils (11 year olds) who started secondary school at that
time until they leave school in 2008. Only then will we know the impact of Citizenship
Education in England. The research involves some 1800 pupils in 100 schools every two
years with 20 schools providing in depth case studies. Overall this will provide a very
strong evidence base.

Schools have been categorised by their approach to Citizenship as “progressing
schools”-developing citizenship education in the curriculum, school community and wider
community, “implicit schools”-not yet focussing on citizenship education in the curriculum
but with a range of active citizenship opportunities, “focussed schools”-concentrating on
citizenship in the curriculum, few opportunities for active citizenship in the school and
wider community and finally, “minimalist schools”-at an early stage of development,
limited range of delivery approaches and few extra curricular activities on offer. David
reminded us all of the issue of minimalist schools who do not deliver the citizenship
entitlement.

David concluded by discussing the involvement of young people in the research which
elicits their views on the curriculum and participation. Positively, two thirds of Year 12
pupils (16 year olds) have indicated their intention to vote in future elections. The
research reports can be obtained from the NFER www.nfer.ac.uk/research-
areas/citizenship/

Teacher Training and Continuing Professional Development-Dr Peter Brett
Dr. Peter Brett Senior Lecturer at St Martins University College, Chief Examiner for
Citizenship Studies AQA and DfES Regional Citizenship Adviser for the North West of
England described the development of the Post Graduate Certificate of Education
(PGCE) Citizenship course for ‘beginning teachers’ at St. Martins. In promoting
Education for Democratic Citizenship Peter referred to the recent Office For Standards in
Education) OFSTED findings for specialist Citizenship Initial Teacher Training courses
which had been very positive, emphasising that higher education and school
partnerships were providing a shared and developing sense of Citizenship as a subject.
The role of CitizED, www.citized.info was seen as central to this within both the initial
teacher training and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) strategy for
Citizenship in England. The strategy included a regional citizenship adviser role, the
development of the Citizenship CPD handbook for teachers and trainers, and the CPD
Certificate for the teaching of Citizenship currently being piloted in Manchester,
Birmingham and London which has set out standards to be met by teachers of
citizenship to improve the quality of teaching and learning and pupils’ experiences.

A practical session to illustrate some of the key points made using the Get Global
resource was led by Peter and supported by Richard Horsefield, a ‘Beginning Teacher’
of Citizenship at St. Martins College who made a presentation on his experiences.

The Self-evaluation of Citizenship in Secondary Schools- John Lloyd
The concept of self-evaluation for secondary school Citizenship was introduced by John
Lloyd (Course Director) Citizenship Adviser DfES. Developed by John with colleagues at
the DfES for the National College for School Leadership, the School Self-evaluation Tool
for Citizenship Education available on www.dfes.gov.uk/citizenship enables school
leaders and coordinators to chart progress systematically in developing citizenship in
their own school. Head teachers and coordinators identify where they believe their
school is in terms of practice through evidence provided from six areas of development;
Leadership, Resources and their management, Teaching and learning, Staff
development, Monitoring and evaluation, Parental and community involvement.
Expressed in terms of four stages; Focusing, Developing, Established and Advanced
practice, a school can identify what actions it needs to take to improve over time.
OFSTED reports that the tool has been particularly helpful in helping schools to focus
their attention on what they need to do next.

John went on to propose that the delegates should use the self-evaluation tool to
prepare for their school visits, to frame the questions that they would wish to ask and the
evidence they would wish to observe in undertaking some action research. This would
then be reported back to everyone later, and on the basis of their observations, used to
make a judgement on the school visited in respect of the four stages.

Manchester Schools and their Citizenship Curriculum- Judy Tideswell
As part of the preparation for school visits by delegates Judy Tideswell, Manchester
Education Partnership Consultant for Citizenship gave a presentation on the expectation
on Manchester schools to deliver entitlement opportunities, enabling pupils to develop
and express their opinions thoughtfully, to engage with their communities responsibly
and to deal with controversial issues sensitively. Judy emphasised the importance of
teaching and learning for active participation where the teacher is the facilitator and the
classroom becomes ‘an enquiring community’. Work in Manchester schools involves the
development of school councils, environmental campaigns, national competitions, mock
elections and peer education activities. Judy introduced students from Plant Hill High
School supported by their teacher Karen McLeod, and Cedar Mount High school
supported by their teacher Debbie Wilson who made presentations on the work they had
been undertaking on citizenship issues. The students and their teachers also responded
to delegates’ questions about their work and school experiences.

School visits
Delegates, supported by Manchester Education Partnership personnel visited
Levenshulme High School, Lancasterian Special School, Whalley Range High School,
Parrs Wood High School, Cedar Mount High School, Trinity High School, Plant Hill High
School, Roundwood School, Newall Green High School and North Manchester High
School for Girls. They were able to meet representative groups of students,
student/school council members, Citizenship teachers and in some cases observe some
teaching. The visits also provided the opportunity for delegates and schools to explore
the possibility of school linking on citizenship issues. www.globalgateway.org


Citizenship curriculum and cohesion- Dr Mick Waters
The conference was pleased to welcome Dr. Mick Waters Director of Curriculum at the
Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA). Mick was Manchester’s Chief Education
Officer and instrumental in introducing Citizenship Education into Manchester’s Schools.
Mick posed the question as to what sort of society and what sort of curriculum we would
want and the need for social cohesion, social justice, social contribution and social
commitment. He talked of the Citizenship curriculum www.qca.org.uk/citizenship being
central to communities and change and how the curriculum can develop responsible
citizens who move from saying ‘they should do something about this’, to ‘we can do
something about this’, and eventually to being able to say ‘I can do something about
this’.
Mick went on to explain that the QCA is reviewing the curriculum at key Stage 3 (age 11-
14) in all subjects including Citizenship with the intention to make learning sharper,
clearer and more focussed. New assessment guidance is currently being prepared to
help teachers make judgements about pupils’ progress and achievement. He drew
attention to the success of the short course General Certificate of Secondary Education
(GCSE) in Citizenship Studies and to the introduction of an Advanced Level examination
in 2008. He also referred to the very successful Play your Part Post 16 Citizenship
Programme. www.post16citizenship.org Mick illustrated his presentation with examples
from Cedar Mount High School which is successfully contributing to citizenship and
cohesion in their community. He offered a model for participation, the Cycle of
Citizenship Action and concluded that Citizenship must help young people to understand
that they have real choice, to respect the views of others, to get involved in their
community, to be ambassadors for youth and to become confident individuals, and
successful learners leading fulfilling lives.

Youth Act- Felicity Tyson
Felicity Tyson is the Project Officer and Website Editor at the Citizenship Foundation
and currently working on the Youth Act project. www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk Felicity
set out the background to Youth Act which works closely with groups of young people to
foster their personal development, social understanding and political empowerment by
supporting their initiatives for community change. Youth Act aims to enable young
people to run their own campaigns, increase their confidence and sense of self as active
citizens, and enable young people and adults to work in partnership. Felicity explained
that young people receive training, and undertake a residential weekend, in order to
develop communication, campaign, advocacy, fund raising, group work and media skills
to support their projects.

Felicity illustrated her presentation by showing a DVD of recent Youth Act projects and
young people talking about how these have affected themselves and their communities.
Projects illustrated included Tackling mobile phone theft, Improving the environment,
Anti-bullying, Reducing gun crime, Improving safety, Teenage pregnancy, Campaigning
for a community centre, Sexual crimes and Improving relationships with the police. The
positive outcomes from these projects led to a similar project for young people in Stoke
on Trent.

Global Citizenship in an urban context- Anne Strachan
Anne Strachan, Project Officer for the Development Education Project (DEP), defined
Development Education and its contribution to Citizenship education in a global context
and described some of the projects that had taken place in Manchester schools. To
illustrate the work of the DEP www.dep.org.uk Anne engaged delegates in a group work
activity using the Manchester Photo pack to explore issues of political, economic, social
and environmental forces in urban regeneration and how this related to sustainability in a
global context. In discussion she developed the 8 key concepts of human rights, global
citizenship, diversity, conflict resolution, interdependence, social justice, sustainable
development and values and perceptions.

The URBIS, citizenship with a difference- Claire Eddleston-Rose
In welcoming delegates to the URBIS, one of Manchester’s ‘landmark buildings’, Claire
explained that the URBIS www.urbis.org.uk is devoted to the creative exploration of
cities. The centre features multi-media exhibits, the opportunity to explore contemporary
architecture, design, street art, and creativity in an urban context. Over 50,000 school
children have visited the URBIS since 2002 when it opened. The URBIS provides a
specialist resource for Citizenship teachers and is developing materials for use in
schools. Delegates were given a guided tour of the URBIS with the opportunity to
experience some of the interactive exhibits.

Manchester Town Hall- Councillor Mohammed Afzal Khan, Lord Mayor
Delegates were received by the Lord Mayor of Manchester in the Lord Mayor’s Parlour
at the Town Hall. In welcoming delegates the Lord Mayor described his experiences of
moving to and growing up in Manchester as an 11 year old. He explained how he came
to be Lord Mayor and delegates had the opportunity to ask questions, to have
photographs taken with him and to view the reception rooms in the Parlour.

The Lord Mayor spoke of the importance of Citizenship education for community
cohesion and to the continuing regeneration of Manchester and its communities,
recognising that young people in school are central to this.

Post 16 Citizenship- Richard Demby
Richard Demby, Post 16 Citizenship Coordinator at Whalley Range High School and
Post 16 Network Coordinator for the North West of England described the role of the
Learning and Skills Development Agency (LSDA) in establishing the Post 16 project in
schools with 6th forms, 6th Form Colleges, Work Settings ad Further Education Colleges
www.post16citizenship.org . Richard explained that the focus at this age was on public
rather than personal issues with a distinct focus on the real political, social, economic
and environmental concerns of young people. He spoke of the benefits of participation in
citizenship activities such as discussion and debate, community events, policy creation,
representative councils, as well as a taught curriculum at Whalley Range High School.
Students he felt benefited from active learning methods through increased motivation,
confidence and self esteem, constructive attitudes, attendance and retention and raised
overall achievement.

This was reflected in presentations made by students from Whalley Range High School,
Nadia Kauser, Sonia Khan, Vajiha Kanwal, Husna Ayyub, Refilwe Fembo, Cynthia
Matore, and Linda Phiri about the activities that they had participated in both in and
beyond school, and to the benefits of this. Richard concluded by playing the rap ‘Unity’
recorded by Kenneth During in 2004 whilst participating in a citizenship project at
Richmond-upon-Thames College. In this rap Kenneth sets out his view that ‘citizenship
is about having respect within a community and allowing every person to have a say.’

John Lloyd Course Director 6.12.05

								
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