• Education for democratic citizenship in Ireland

      Butler, Cathal (Taylor and Francis, 2019-12-17)
      This chapter explores the complex historical, political and religious context that frame discussions around citizenship and democracy within education in Ireland, as an independent nation, and as a member of the European Union. What it means to be a citizen in Ireland will be explored.The focus is primarily on the Republic of Ireland, though issues that arise in Northern Ireland will also be covered. The chapter will focus on curriculum subject areas that touch on citizenship and democracy, past and present. The extent to which policy and practice can map onto the key concepts set out in the Council of Europe's framework of competences for democratic culture will be explored, with a specific focus on the extent to which teachers are trained to be able to teach these subjects.
    • The Levellers, political literacy and contemporary citizenship education in England

      Hopkins, Neil; Coster, Will; University of Bedfordshire (Sage, 2018-09-24)
      This paper analyses the concept of political literacy (as introduced in the 1998 Crick Report) in relation to Citizenship in the English National Curriculum. It argues that political literacy has not been sufficiently emphasised or facilitated within this foundation subject and that the concept is particularly important for students at a time of considerable political and social conflict in England (and elsewhere). The authors state that engagement with the ideas and practices of the Levellers (a political group writing and agitating at the time of the Civil Wars) could enable students and teachers to explore political literacy (especially the implications of social media) by looking at a political group who utilised mass pamphlettering as a form of political communication. The paper will also investigate the context of Citizenship within the English National Curriculum and some of the philosophical concerns around Citizenship education. It contains a section placing the Levellers in their contemporary and historiographical contexts.
    • Subject English as citizenship education

      Belas, Oliver; Hopkins, Neil; University of Bedfordshire (Wiley, 2019-01-04)
      This article is equal parts educational history and political philosophy. We aim to remind readers that subject English (SE) and indeed state education emerge from the contradictory impulses of classical liberalism, and that, more than simply resembling citizenship education, SE emerges in the first instance as a form of highly normativising citizenship education. We further argue that, following England's recent educational reforms initiated by former Education Secretary Michael Gove, SE continues to be framed in moral terms consistent with citizenship education—again, of a highly normativising sort. England's current educational policy generally, and specifically the framing of SE, employs the language of liberal possibility, while ultimately espousing an invidious exclusionary and assimilationist politics. The framing of SE, moreover, is one that misrepresents the supposedly ‘rich and varied literary heritage’ it is supposed to exemplify and promote. The current political landscape in which the study of literature takes place is one where a crisis of liberalism is manifest (in terms of populism, radicalisation or apathy). However, we do not believe the answer is to retreat into a sealed, hermetic canon that excludes the reality that England and English literature are fundamentally multicultural and polyethnic. SE will be the poorer for not fully acknowledging and embodying this, for not enabling students to imaginatively and critically engage with characters and experiences that reflect both the present and long‐standing diversity of English society, as well as its present and long‐standing inequalities.
    • Teacher education and the development of democratic education in England

      Hopkins, Neil (Routledge, 2019-12-17)
      England presents an interesting and complex situation with regards to teacher education and democratic citizenship in relation to other European contexts. These challenges can be encapsulated in the debate over national identity in the midst of Brexit. This chapter will explore how and if fundamental British values accord with the Council of Europe’s conceptual model of 20 competences for citizenship and democracy. Discussion of how and whether teacher education in England is able to encourage trainers and trainees to explore identity within the context of Brexit will also be explored. Teacher education in England has become increasingly fragmented and complex in recent years. The government’s drive towards more school-centred teacher education and the removal of state schools from local authority control has left a situation where trainees can opt for a range of ‘pathways’ into school and college teaching. The debate here is whether investigation of citizenship, democracy and identity is in danger of being further marginalised by the pressure to get trainees ‘classroom ready’. This chapter will adopt a philosophical approach to the literature, focussing on some key texts in the field to draw out implications for the main concepts and how they are interpreted.
    • Written evidence to House of Lords Committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement

      Hopkins, Neil; University of Bedfordshire (2017-10-20)
      Paper submitted to the House of Lords Committee on the issue of citizenship, British identity and education. Paper is available online at: http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/citizenship-and-civic-engagement-committee/citizenship-and-civic-engagement/written/69337.pdf