A key to change lies in the establishment of “Discursive arenas”, or participative dialogic processes within and between institutions. As Cooperrider & Srivastva (1987) suggest,
“The most powerful vehicle communities have for transforming their conventions (agreements, norms, values etc) is through the act of dialogue made possible by language…alterations in linguistic practices have profound implications for change in social practice”(p, 6-7).
JISCmail – WWW
A SUPPORTING-CITIZENSHIP list has been established to support professional dialogue around Education for Citizenship within and between Initial Teacher Education Institutions North & South.
Both those engaged in professional preparation for teaching and their tutors, should find this “Discursive Arena” helpful and convenient.
Archives of SUPPORTING-CITIZENSHIP@JISCMAIL.AC.UK
Announcement list for the Standing Conference North and South (SCoTENS) web
- Post to the list
- Join or leave the list (or change settings)
- Manage the list (list owners only)
- Email list owner(s)
- File area for the list
- Discussion Room (Help)
Citizenship education projects such as Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE) in the Republic and Education for Local and Global Citizenship provide opportunities for young people to get involved in action projects. In addition, a wide range of youth and community groups undertake actions to improve their communities.
By gathering accounts by individuals about their involvement in action projects, others will, we expect, be encouraged, inspired and gain practical advice about taking future action. Typically accounts will be no more than 800 words. They should be submitted electronically with your name, age, home address, school address, and the name of a teacher or youth leader who we can contact to confirm the accuracy of your account. The following headings are offered as guides to help you write your account.
- What we actually did in our action projects and its focus;
- Why we did this and the process by which we made the decision;
- The effect our project had on me/the class/ the school/the community;
- What I learned from doing the project;
- Difficulties we encountered and overcame;
- Benefits of this action;
- Include: date (month & year) when project was executed, numbers involved, student’s name, class group, school’s name, class group, school’s name,
Submitting an account is no guarantee that it will be included in the website.
Rowan Oberman Tel 01-8842060
Education should give pupils the chance to exercise real responsibility and to make an impact on their school and Community. Citizenship teaching, building on the curriculum, has the power to transform the lives of pupils in areas that many people have written off. David Blunkett, 2000
|Education for Reconciliation Project“On Track” A Handbook for Citizenship Education Teachers
Further information available from the Curriculum Development Unit (CDU) website
||ImpetusWhat are we trying to achieve?
To encourage young people to explore what our shared values are – and should be – and to help them develop the confidence and courage to put those values into practice in their communities.
The achievements of several Northern Irish Citizenship projects were recognised at a ceremony in the Calgagh Centre, Derry, including:
- IMPETUS Showcase Presentation – Stranmillis Primary School –
|A Scottish Case study – http://www.impetusawards.org.uk/cms/14.0.html#31
Kilbowie Primary School, Clydebank, Scotland Kilbowie Primary School’s project was organised and managed by the pupil council in the school. The motto of Kilbowie pupil council is ‘They do make a difference’. The pupils in Kilbowie are very clear as to the reason the school has a pupil council – their justification is based on Article 10 of the Human Rights Act:
Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.
The pupil council came up with the idea that it would help learning and concentration if pupils were allowed to have water to drink throughout the day. This suggestion was put to the senior management team of the school, and it was agreed that it would be necessary to consult pupils, staff and parents. As this was a pilot scheme, the pupil council decided it would be sensible and practical to start with Primary 7. Questionnaires were put together and issued to all pupils in P7 and their parents, and to all members of staff. There was an overwhelming response in favour of ‘water at work’. However, it was agreed that there would have to be some conditions. Another discussion took place and the following agreement was reached:
- the bottle must be see-through
- it must be plastic
- the top must not leak
- you must put it back in the tray when you are told
- it must be filled at home
It was agreed that P7 would pilot the project and would be allowed to have water at work, if they wished it, for a three month trial period. In order to be allowed to participate in the pilot, a pupil had to apply for a water licence.
Throughout the trial period, the pupil council monitored the project by checking that the privilege of having water was not being abused. They also prepared a survey to check on pupils’ views as to how it was going. Most pupils viewed it as a great success because the water helped them:
- to concentrate
- to cool down
- to work better
- to be healthy
Teachers noted that most pupils had got a water licence and that it was now considered to be a right of P7 pupils. This led to class discussion about rights and responsibilities. Whilst recognising that it was a right to have water, they agreed that with this right came some responsibilities – the need to abide by the rules of the licence. It was also noted that no pupil had his/her licence removed during the trial period.
The pupil council met again to decide how to take the project further – into the local community. Various suggestions had been made but it was the pupil council itself which came up with the idea of a consultation with local businesses on their knowledge and use of ‘water at work’.
Another survey was drawn up and issued. Results indicated that very few businesses allowed their staff access to water at work. The pupil council decided that as this was due to lack of knowledge of the value of ‘water at work’, it should invite managers into the school for a presentation, which they did.
In evaluating this innovative project, the local LVP felt strongly that it had met all four of the criteria. The concept of rights with responsibilities had been explored. The whole school had been involved, and there had been engagement with the local community.
||Public Achievement – Public Achievement recognises the creative capacity of individuals of all ages to actively participate in the civic life of their communities and in the building of a more just, peaceful, democratic and pluralist society. This is done by supporting small groups of young people – and adult volunteer ‘coaches’ who work with them – in addressing issues that are important and around which they design, carry out and evaluate their own projects. In the process, they learn skills of active citizenship and democracy.
||St Columb’s Park House: Action Projects –
||Verbal Arts CentreSee Me See You Post Primary
See me See You is a community relations programme for schools. The programme uses creative methods to explore difficult issues using areas and targets within the curriculum.
See Me See You Primary.
This programme uses listening and talking role play and visual stimulus to look at individual identity, becoming part of a group, interacting with others and acceptance of difference.
This programme is aimed at children in Key Stage 3. The materials are suitable for use across all ability levels and look at personal identity, grouping, labeling in groups, symbols and flags. The activities introduce factual information relating to political party’s religious groups and cultural groups. This programme uses games, stories, role-play and practical exercises as triggers for discussion of sensitive topics.
||WIMPS – WHO ARE WIMPS?
10 young people from across Northern Ireland were recruited in July 2004 to develop an interactive website run by and for young people aiming to inspire and empower young people in Northern Ireland, giving them a voice in the decisions that affect all our lives, trying to get young people talking and influencing politicians and public representatives.
WIMPS (Where Is My Public Servant) was the product of these young people’s ideas, hopes and aspirations – it is a website with a vision; to provide young people with easy and instant access to clear information that allows them to take action on issues that are important to them.
WHAT DOES THE WIMPS SITE DO?
The site has a database of all public representatives in Northern Ireland searchable by using your postcode to identify all your representatives from local Council to European Parliament level. Users can then click on a button to send emails to these representatives about the issues they are interested in.
Young people will update the site on a daily basis with articles and information about a range of issues of interest for young people, and reports on projects and issues that groups of young people are working on. Young people all over Northern Ireland can also contact the site to receive direction and advice in how to take action on community issues that affect them and that they feel strongly about.
THE WIMPS VISION
To be a website that helps create real relationships between young people and the decision makers who influence their lives.
A website that is informative, inspiring, un-biased and accessible to everyone; creating, sustaining and multiplying educated and empowered young people as a significant force for good in Northern Ireland.
WANT TO BE A WIMP?
WIMPS is about young people being heard and taking action, that means that ANY young person who wants to be taken seriously can join us in the work we are trying to do. So if you want to get involved in any way at all, surf the WIMPS site, see what you think and then contact us and join our team!
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
ADDITIONAL USEFUL LINKS
||Active Participation – National Service Learning Partnership – Service-learning is a teaching method that engages young people in solving problems within their schools and communities as part of their academic studies or other type of intentional learning activity. Service-learning helps students master important curriculum content by supporting their making meaningful connections between what they are studying and its many applications. Service-learning also helps young people develop a range of service skills, from acts of kindness and caring, to community stewardship, to civic action.
||Service-Learning in Higher Education (2005)
Dan W. Butin. Published by Palgrave MacmillanAbstract:
Service-Learning in Higher Education critically examines the assumptions and implications of service-learning and offers exemplary models of practice and scholarship. It explores the limits and possibilities of teaching for social justice; it examines paramount issues of institutionalization; and it investigates issues of student resistance,student voice, and contested issues around race, class, and gender. Transformational models across the humanities and social sciences arepresented and new directions for the future of service-learning are explored. By bringing together rising scholars and established expertsin the field, this book offers an essential and state-of-the-artexamination of the service-learning field in higher education.
The meaning of education for citizenship runs very hollow when used outside a broader analysis of what’s going on in the school system and society generally.
Improving School Effectiveness for Democratic Citizenship: Six Principles [121 Kb]
Educators are increasingly aware of the importance of involving parents in the education of their children. Research shows that parent involvement improves student achievement. When parents are involved, children do better in school. Parental encouragement and assistance contribute to students’ higher achievement, better attitudes and higher aspirations.
Why not try to develop an interactive home learning activity in Citizenship Education?
Go to the following site for some ideas!
The Chief Inspector of the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) in Northern Ireland recently indicated that the Inspectorate was going to continue to promote self-evaluation and self-improvement as an important lever for school improvement and whole-school development. School self-evaluation is an approach to organisational improvement that places learning and dialogue at the heart of matters. It is an approach that eschews instrumental, controlling and bureaucratic change management strategies having narrow foci on performance and efficiency (Clarke et al 1998). As Brighouse and Woods (1999) suggest, it really provides schools with an opportunity to increase the common wealth of its curiosity-an extension of knowledge through the sharing of other peoples’ ideas. This directory includes a range of school self- evaluation instrument to support transformative change for citizenship education.
Citizenship Self Evaluation Tool
DENI – School Development Planning ( June 2005)
Global Teacher Project
LOCAL & GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP IN NORTHERN IRELAND. The Community Relations Index: self-evaluation tools for schools and classrooms (UNDER DEVELOPMENT – DRAFT Document)
School Improvement Planning
Support materials for auditing education for citizenship
The Collaborative for Social and Emotional Learning
Tool for Quality Assurance of Education for Democratic Citizenship in Schools (2005
Whole-School Global Citizenship Audi
World Education Centre -Education For Global Citizenship: An Inset Resource For Teacher
Using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to facilitate cross-cultural linkages between schools in the North and South of Ireland. http://www.dissolvingboundaries.org
The Dissolving Boundaries Project allows students from the North and South of Ireland to:
- Work together on educational projects,
- Build mutual understanding and friendships that help to work towards good citizenship, and
- Develop ICT skills through valuable educational activities.
To date, some 172 schools have taken part and there is a current total of 121 schools involved.
Schools are nominated from primary, special and post-primary sectors. Nominations are made by ICT advisors in different Area Boards and Education Centres.
- To involving four pairs of schools, in each jurisdiction, that have a history of involvement in intercultural and/or multicultural education and where particularly in the N Irish context, cross-community contact is viewed as one important location for making a contribution to such work.
- To engage Dr Simon Lichman to facilitate residential cross-border professional development with teachers from the paired schools mention in 1. above according to the methodologies of the Centre for Creativity in Education and Cultural Heritage.
- To encourage the school-attached professional personnel connected with the paired schools to attend residential professional development sessions.
- To have two school-home-community projects up and running in each jurisdiction by the end of the school year incorporating an action-research network of practitioners and researchers.
- To have completed a proposal for securing long-term funding.
A Report to SCoTENS on the ‘Bringing School Communities
Dr Ron Smith Queen’s University Belfast
Professor Keith Sullivan, National University of Ireland, Galway