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I have been asked to write an essay critically analysing the relationship of religious and citizenship education. I will evaluate whether both subjects will assist each other, or if one of them will be in danger, and consume one another. I will include the following in my essay: the history of religious education and citizenship education. I will discuss, for and against arguments on religious and citizenship education. I will show some statistical and government reports; on how well these lesson are doing. I will mention some appropriate resources to be used in the classroom to teach these lessons. Furthermore more I am going to write about the views of those teaching these subjects in schools.
Definitions of religious education Watson 1992 p.12 'Religion is peculiarly concerned with what one worships which is in turn connected with what one thinks one ought to be in awe of, feel humble towards, reverence, and so forth. Which are not concerned with any of them'. Another definition of religious education Thompson and Watson 2006 p.65 'pupils are taught that religion involves: stories; belief; rights and wrong; community; rituals; feelings'. These definitions suggest that religious education is linked to worshiping, respecting other cultures and beliefs, and knowing right from wrong. Religious education could also stop racism in society, by children knowing about different beliefs of people. Broadbent and Brown report 2002 p.173 relate to the swann suggesting that 'bringing about a greater understanding of diversity of faiths present in Britain today can also therefore we believe play a major role in challenging and overcoming racism'. In my opinion religious education is to do with religious and moral values in different religions or faiths.
Definitions of Citizenship Education (the crick report 1998, p.9) 'In the political tradition stemming from the Greek city states and the Roman republic, citizenship has meant involvement in public affairs by those who had the rights of citizens: to take part in public debate and, directly or indirectly, in shaping the laws and decisions of a state. Another definition of citizenship (Collins 2008 p.1) 'citizenship education is about helping young people to understand their rights and responsibilities, to understand how society works, and to play an active role in society'. A different definition of citizenship education (Skelton, Francis and Smulyan 2006 p.286-287) 'tends to mean that school students are taught about representative democracy and parliamentary politics'. From these definitions I can see that the main areas that are involved in citizenship education are politics and the person's role in society. On the other hand citizenship takes on more political point of view and it is more debate based.
History of religious education started in 1811 when the national society promoted religious education, to provide education for the poor children in the established church schools. In the 1870 Education Act new schools were established, run by local authorities with their curriculum to include religious education. In 1931 a report was released called the Hadow report which basically said that religious education is vital for learning. Thompson and Watson 2007 p.54 'the teaching of religion is at the heart of all teaching'. There was a report written on secondary schools, in 1938 called the spens report which was saying, all children need to be taught about religion. Thompson and Watson 2007 p.54 state that 'no boy or girl can be counted as properly educated unless he or she has been made aware of the existence of religious interpretation of life'. The Education Act of 1944 required that all schools should provide 'religious instruction', while allowing both teachers and parents on behalf of their children the right to withdraw. The Education Reform Act 1988 introduced the National Curriculum to schools in England and Wales. This gave the teachers a task which was to educate children about religion, the main subject which is Christianity, describing some of the other religious practices and not instruct them. Thompson and Watson 2007 p.54 mentioned that 'religious education should reflect the fact the religious traditions of Great Britain are, in the main, Christian whilst taking account of the other principle religions represented in Great Britain'.
SACRE's (Standing Advisory Councils for R.E.) main duty is to advise the LEA on religious education to be taught in accordance with the Agreed Syllabus in Community and Voluntary Controlled schools. Agreed syllabuses are developed out of the national guidelines contained in the non statutory national framework for RE. The advantages of these are it provides guidelines for non specialists in RE also it will assist RE co-ordinators in planning as well as assessment. Collective Worship is legally required to take place every school day, it is generally accepted that Collective Worship, should provide pupils with space for reflection and/or should be challenging. I think this is a vital part of a school day because all staff and children gather together in the hall ,say prays, sing songs also they can do class assemblies on different festivals: Christmas, Diwali and Eid assemblies this will give knowledge to the children and staff listening. RE is not part of the National Curriculum, but must be taught in schools by law. By law, all state schools must teach the subject RE, except to pupils withdrawn from classes by their parents.
History of citizenship, in 1964 the Association for Teaching the Social Sciences (ATSS) was founded at the Institute of Education, University of London, which was to promote social science teaching in schools. The subjects included in this were sociology, economics and political science. During this time Bernard Crick was interested in discussing ways of getting politics in secondary education and the benefits of this for the pupils. Cairns, Gardner and Lawton 2004 p.11 have looked at this further 'At some stage all young people . . . should gain some awareness of what politics is about. Crick later became active in a curriculum project financed by the Hansard Society called the Programme for Political Literacy that produced a report Political Education and Political Literacy (Hansard, 1978)'. Due to a change in government at that time prevented this report from being published and we could have seen citizenship education in the curriculum. Cairns, Gardner and Lawton 2004 p.11 'unfortunately, the change of government in 1979 prevented any immediate action: most Conservatives were then suspicious of political education - 'citizenship education' might have been more acceptable'. In the 1990's there was a concern over lack of interest towards politics by the youth, so the government had to intervene and do something to solve this problem. They introduced citizenship education to give children more awareness of political activities. Some statistical information, showing reasons for why first time voters, do not vote during elections. The Crick report 1998, p.15 'A MORI survey for the News of the World in March 1997 on first-time voters found that 28 per cent said they would not vote or were unlikely to, 55 per cent said that they were not interested or could not be bothered, 17 per cent said that it would not make any difference, and 10 per cent said they did not trust any politicians'. I agree with this statement that people don't vote. Not many young people vote, to be honest I haven't voted myself. The only people whom vote are the older generation.
The importance of religious education is that it will help children, to learn about different cultures e.g. what different people belief and their way of life. Learning about God, how he helps and the children's own perception on life. RE Non statutory framework, 2004, p.7) 'provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. It develops pupils' knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions, other religious traditions and other world views that offer answers to questions such as these. It offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development. It enhances pupils' awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression, as well as of the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures'. All these values will make a person good and caring in society; know what is right and wrong such as; drug dealing is wrong. If people learn these values, it will benefit the society, by making it a safer place to live in, without crime.
The purpose of citizenship education in schools is vital because, the children can learn about politics, rights the children are entitled to such as the right to education and how to be a good citizen in society. The crick report 1998, p.40 examined the benefits of citizenship education 'in schools and colleges is to make secure and to increase the knowledge, skills and values relevant to the nature and practices of participative democracy; also to enhance the awareness of rights and duties, and the sense of responsibilities needed for the development of pupils into active citizens; and in so doing to establish the value to individuals, schools and society of involvement in the local and wider community'. The three main strands of study in citizenship suggested by Bernard crick in his crick report are as follows: firstly Social and moral responsibility - Children learning from the very beginning self-confidence and socially and morally responsible behaviour both in and beyond the classroom, both towards those in authority and towards each other (this is an essential pre-condition for citizenship). Secondly Community involvement - Pupils learning about and becoming helpfully involved in the life and concerns of their communities, including learning through community involvement and service to the community. Thirdly Political literacy - Pupils learning about and how to make themselves effective in public life through knowledge, skills and values.
The government published the National framework on Religious Education in October 2004 but it is non-statutory. It encourages schools to teach pupils about Christianity and the five other major religions represented in the country. I think this is a good framework for RE because it will help teachers to teach RE to students, furthermore it will give them guidelines in teaching this subject; along with giving them ideas to what to teach. It is not a compulsory framework so it isn't additional work for teachers to include in their planning.
The Crick report outlined the rationale and essential aims of education for citizenship (QCA 1998). The crick Report 1998, p.13 states that it is a "vital and distinct statutory part of the curriculum, an entitlement for all pupils in its own right...Citizenship education can be enhanced by and make significant contributions to - as well as draw upon - other subjects and aspects of the curriculum." In the Crick Report (1998) there is only a brief mention of RE and how it can be used to explore moral and social concerns. There has been some criticism on the crick report this has been examined by Faulks,2006, p.60 suggest that 'The main weaknesses of the Crick Report can be understood in terms of its abstract conception of citizenship. The Crick Report fails, in particular, to give due consideration to the institutional and social structures that form the context of citizenship and which, if ignored, must necessarily limit the effective delivery of an inclusive citizenship education'.
In August 2002 primary schools citizenship education, is non statutory but it is still taught in primary schools. However for secondary schools citizenship education is statutory for Key Stage 3 and 4. This is a separate subject to PSHE. It also has its own subject content of study further more current assessment at Key stage 4 GCSE short course. In September 2009 citizenship will be a full GCSE and A level to be introduced. But changes in new primary curriculum will be statutory in 2011. Their will be a subject similar to citizenship education in the curriculum. The name of this subject will be Historical, geographical and social understanding. This will be influential for citizenship in secondary curriculum, because the pupils will have more understanding of citizenship education. QCA states that 'helping children make sense of our place in the world and is central to their development as informed, active and responsible citizens. They see how societies are organised and shaped by people's values and actions, and how communities can live and work together'.
Ofsted 2005-2006 found that 'RE no longer stands out as a subject giving cause for concern in terms of teaching, learning and achievement. At Key Stages 3 and 4 one in five schools have raised pupils' achievement from satisfactory to good and at Key Stage 4 RE is the third most improved subject in terms of teaching and learning' This is very good statement for religious education teachers because the improvement of RE will help religious education to stay in education. On the other hand the teaching of citizenship is improving, and there are now better opportunities for training, but in around 25% of schools inspected in 2005/06 the provision was found to be inadequate. Many schools have not yet implemented full programmes of citizenship across Key Stages 3 and 4, and that misconceptions remain about what should be included in citizenship education. Ofsted 2005 - 2006
Religious education can be taught in a number of ways such as, the religious studies approach which is to do with helping children to understand a range of religious views and to have an understanding for them. Another approach that is used in schools is ethical and spiritual approach, which is referred to as the study of moral development. Activities you can do with religious education: storytelling about God, taking students to different places worship. Activities you may consider undertake on this theme: comparing the differences and similarities between different places of worship, discuss something from pupils own experience that relates to being inside a special, holy place, and ask students to produce a short questionnaire or set of interview questions to be used during the visit.
Citizenship can be taught in a number of ways depending on the school cross curricular activity, suspended timetable days, tutor or tutorial times, discrete lessons combination of all. Activities you can do with children's during citizenship lessons; debates on current issues, a selection of newspaper articles can be examined, people who can help us the main activity the children can draw a picture of themselves and do a brainstorm writing who helps them. The trade game this is where children represent different members of the community for example factory worker and bosses and so forth then you will be given a budget and you need to find ways on allocating the money. Political election this can be done by the teacher explaining how local and national elections take place, explain the democracy in this country then you choose three or more individuals to represent the main political parties then these children will do a speech for the class. Resources are available for teaching citizenship education, they have been given the resources but they do not use them very well. (Ofsted 2006, p.37) state that 'citizenship has good resources in abundance, but often they are not used'.
Arguments for religious education, having good understanding of religious education and know adequate amount of information, about all the different religions. Moreover children who want to learn about the different religions for RE. Ofsted, 2006-2007, p.80 states that 'Pupils in the schools visited understood better the significance of religion in people's lives than has been the case in the past'. Arguments against RE is that the staff at schools do not teach the subjects in relation to politically engaging the modern world. Ofsted 2006-2007 p.80 'the curriculum and teaching in RE did not place sufficient emphasis on exploring the changing political and social significance of religion in the modern world. As a result, the subject's potential to contribute to community cohesion, education for diversity and citizenship was not being fully realised'. Arguments for citizenship education the children can gain knowledge of how to be good a citizen in society. Arguments against the citizenship education, it will be extra work for the school and staff to do planning for the subject. Also some teachers don't have enough knowledge on this lesson to deliver to children. So they will need to go training to develop their skills on citizenship. There will be debates on implementation of citizenship education, how you are going to teach citizenship because, the curriculum is overloaded and other subjects may be dropped to make time for this lesson. The main debate surrounding this will be who's going to teach the subject in schools. Ofsted 2010 p.18-19 suggests that the weaknesses in citizenship education include 'weakness in teacher subject knowledge; poor planning, misunderstanding about the place of citizenship in the curriculum'. Another weakness found in the report 'weak subject knowledge; use of inappropriate teaching methods'. Another factor that affects citizenship education was 'lack of understanding and confidence to teach citizenship'.
The views of those teaching religious education are that the adding another lesson such as citizenship in the curriculum, will give less time for religious education to be taught to students this is backed up by Broadbent and Brown 2002 p.174 'concerns expressed by teachers of religious education that the inclusion of discrete lessons of PSHE and citizenship education might severely encroach upon curriculum time hitherto allotted to RE'. Citizenship education will not effect the status religious education in the curriculum this was back up by David Blunkett who stated 'religious education's position in the curriculum would remain unchanged (Watson 2004, p.260). The views of those teaching citizenship in schools they think that it is important for children to understand and respect themselves and others. Trusting others and have high self confidence when doing discussions or debates. Worried it could turn into a civic lesson. Some wanted citizenship to replace religious education because we can teach these values in citizenship of being a good citizen in society. The other side of the debate could be getting rid of religious education for citizenship education. Watson, 2004, p.260 states that 'the replacement of religious education with citizenship education in state schools'.
In conclusion I believe that schools should teach more, religious education to students because the children will be more aware and have relevant knowledge about other cultures around the world. I think both subjects should stay in the curriculum because they both have benefits in children's education, such as citizenship will teach the political side of the view point and about society. On the other hand religious education will teach children how to respect other cultures. They both work in favour of each other because they can teach different things to children. Watson 2004, p.267 argues that 'religious education, by enabling pupils to encounter different faiths and each other through dialogue, makes vital contribution to citizenship education while educating for citizenship in its own right by developing understanding of our society and particular contributions religious debate can make to the development of the active citizen'.