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Universit y of East

London
University Certificate in
Personal & Career
Development

New Beginnings 2

Module 2

Learning to Learn

Title: Citizenship
Name of Tutor: Alphonse Mpeke

Student Number: u0405775


This work seeks to illustrate the importance of teaching Citizenship Education in British
Schools. In this essay I am going to define and outline the origin of citizenship. I will also
provide three arguments for and against the teaching of citizenship education. To help me
do this, I will be using books, journals and websites. And at the end I will conclude this
essay base on my findings.

Citizenship is an ambiguous and complex term that can be hard to define, however it
involves some of the following; its encourages people to get involve in community issues
that affect their everyday lives, it ensure to promote a multi-cultural society, it enables
people to develop the feeling of belongingness, it encourage Citizens to take social and
moral responsibilities and it empower them to access the legal, political, Economical and
Social Institutions that govern their lives. Nearly in all modern Societies, those that are
regarded as Citizens must posses some sort of certifying documents such as passport, birth
certificate or naturalisation. Most importantly, Citizens have a wide range of political, civil
and social rights. However, such rights are balanced by certain obligations to both the
Government and their Communities. (Castles, S and Davidson, A 2000).

The origin of citizenship can be traced back to antiquity. For instance, during the reign
of Menes, founder of the 1st dynasty –c, 2789-2669 BC, (Rohl, D. 1999).The Egyptian
mystery system was like our modern Universities, a centre of organised culture where
Citizens were taught the importance of moral disciplines like Grammar, Rhetoric, and Logic
so as to purge away their irrational tendencies. This was to enable them to be better
Citizens. Also the borders around Egypt were enforced in other to prevent illegal entry into
the country and Circumcision was compulsory for anyone who wishes to study the
mysteries. “No one among the Egyptians, either studied geometry, or investigated the secret
of Astronomy, unless circumcision had been undertaken.” (Origen n.d, cited in James 1954,
p44).
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After the bombing of the twin towers in America the British Government had paid great
emphases on been active citizens, especially as radical Islam was on the raised. The idea of
Active Citizenship, Social diversity, Community Cohesion and Community Involvement
has gained Prominence in the media, political discussions and political practices within
Britain in the last fifteen years. (Sage Journals 2009). Therefore an active citizen is one who
ensures to get involved in issues that affect them and their Community. He or She must seek
to promote Promote a multi-cultural Society so as to bring about social integration and
Community cohesion. They should ensure that their democratic rights are protected and
must make sure they excise their voting rights. And also they must seek to know how
Government policies are implemented and how such policies affect their everyday lives.

The main goal of the new traditional British values are to ensure that the Educational
system informs Citizens of democratic procedures that promotes social diversity, equality,
respect, tolerance and other democratic principles. Therefore it is very important Education
for Citizenship is taught in Schools, as it will enable the Citizens to treat each others in a
dignified and respectful manner regardless of their races, religions, sexualities or
backgrounds.

There are various arguments for the teaching of Citizenship Education, three of which are as
follows:
• To ensure Citizens rights are not infringed.
• To promote a multi-cultural society.
• It encourages Citizens to get involved in Community issues that affect them.

PROTECTION OF CITIZENS RIGHTS: Most people do not seem to understand how


Government works and how policies affect their everyday lives. Many people in society
feel indifferent towards political decisions and therefore tend to distant themselves from
decisions that affect them daily.
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It is important that the democratic rights of the Citizens are never infringed upon; this
enables democracy to function properly. A strong and transparent democracy will encourage
people to develop an interest in politics as they get to know how Government function and
how policies affect them. More over, this will empower and enable Citizens to access the
Political, Social, Economical, and Legal Institutions that govern their everyday lives.

PROMOTION OF A MULTI-CULTURAL SOCIETY: Citizenship Education


encourages social, religious, political, and sexual diversities. Werbner, P. 2000,Muslims in
Britain Vol.4 Issue 3,p307-324.It is imperative that Citizens treat each others in dignified
and respectful manner regardless of their race, religion, sex, sexuality, disability and back
ground. Frazer, E. 2000, Political Studies Vol.48 Issue 1, p88. It helps Citizens to develop
a feeling of belonging as they accept some of their Social and Moral responsibilities to both
their Communities and the Nation as a whole. Also, it tend to encourage tolerance as
Communities Cohesion takes place thereby enabling People to live together and to have the
opportunity to understand other people’s culture and religion better. This will help to bring
about integration.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: One of the main goals of Citizenship Education is to


Encourage the participation of Citizens in local Community issues that affect them. Since
most people tend to distance themselves from decisions that affect them, either because they
do not know how Government works, or how policies affect them. Citizenship Education
ensures that people have the opportunity to get involve in issues that affect them and their
Communities. This has given Citizens the chance to voice their concern and opinions in
regards to important issues that may affect them and their Communities. Example,
problems such as guns, drugs, burglary etc.
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Furthermore, there are many arguments against the teaching of Citizenship Education.
Three of which are:
• Additional work load for Teachers.
• Parents not approving the teaching of certain topics.
• Protection of the Statuesque.

ADDITIONAL WORK LOAD: The introduction of Citizenship Education has brought


more work load for some Teachers. Most Teachers were already over loaded with School
work; they have to prepare for classes, mark Students works etc. Any addition to the already
over loaded curriculum will bring extra work for them.

PARENTS NOT APPROVING CERTAIN TOPICS: Some Parents may be unwilling to


approve the teaching of certain topics to their Children because of religious reasons. For
example, most Muslim parents will likely not to approve homosexuality and lesbianism to
be taught to their Children.

PROTECTION OF THE STATUESQUE: The Government might be tempted to try to


mole the behaviour of Citizens just to protect the statuesque. This may prevent Citizens
from expressing their Individualities or their opinions. For instance, because of what is term
as “Political Correctness” Citizens might be afraid to use words like Deaf, Dumb and Blind
so as not to offend the disable.

I will like to conclude that Citizenship Education should be taught in conjunction with
Parents doing their part at Home.
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Bibliography/References

Casltes, S and Alastair, D (2000) Citizenship and Migration Routledge, 29 West 35Street
New York, NY 10001, USA.
Crick, B. 2007, British Journal of Education. Vol.55 Issue 3, p235-248.
Frazer, E. 2000, Political Studies .Vol.48 Issue 1, p88.
Holden, C. 2003, Pastoral Care in Education. Vol.21 Issue 3, p24-29.
James, G.M. (1954) Stolen Legacy African American Images, USA.
Kiwan, D. 2008, Oxford Review of Education. Vol.34 Issue 1, p39-58.
Ross, A. 2007, British Journal of Education. Vol.55 Issue 3, p268-303.
Rolh, D. (1999) Legend The Random House Group Limited. 20 Vauxhall Bridge Road,
London SW4 2SA.
Sage Journals (2009) Citizenship essay (online). Sage Home page. Available at
WWW.Sage Journals .co.uk (Access on the 7th Dec.2009).
Starkey, H. 2000, Curriculum Journal. Vol.11 Issue 1, p39-54.
Werbner, P. 2000, Muslims in Britain. Vol. 4 Issue 3, p307-324.