Citizenship education in international perspective: lessons from the UK and overseas

Kisby Ben and James Sloam

in Social Policy Review 23

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9781847428301
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303503 | DOI:
Citizenship education in international perspective: lessons from the UK and overseas

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This chapter focuses specifically on ‘citizenship education’ in the UK and comparable countries. It discusses separately the programmes of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and also analyses the US, France and Germany. It views citizenship education in terms of promoting political participation in diverse, pluralistic societies. It points out that this is an international agenda, with the Council of Europe explicitly seeking to foster education for democratic citizenship and human rights. It explores the varied approaches to citizenship education in secondary schools within the countries of interest, and the chapter draws lessons from cross-national comparative discussion, principally with reference to four key pillars of good practice: political literacy, experiential learning, appropriate institutional structures and supply-side factors relating to the delivery of conventional politics. It argues that understanding citizenship education programmes in different countries serves governments well in policy learning, particularly given that there is no one recipe for national success and no ‘one size fits all’.

Keywords: citizenship education; political participation; pluralistic societies; Council of Europe; secondary schools; political literacy; experiential learning; appropriate institutional structures; supply-side factors; policy learning

Chapter.  7393 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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