United Kingdom: Citizenship education in the United Kingdom: Comparing England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales
Keywords:citizenship education, curriculum policy, curriculum enactment
- Comparative analysis across the UK to provide insights into different curriculum models.
- Contextualised account of how citizenship education is defined and implemented.
Purpose: In this country case study the authors undertake a comparative analysis of citizenship education across the four nations of the UK. The curriculum and contexts in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are first described. Then the article considers how each national example engages with fundamental expectations of citizenship education, specifically in relation to questions of citizenship status and the relationship between citizens and the state; political identity; and active citizenship processes.
Approach: Drawing on the authors’ collective experience and insights into policy and practice in each nation, we started with a ‘generative conversation’ to identify key issues for inclusion in this case study.
Findings: The article unearths a variety of constraints and problems, and situates these in a broader policyscape in which policy accretion and policy approximation generate a permissive culture, which has undermined the promise of citizenship education as an entitlement for all young people.
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