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Citizens in a democratic society have a fundamental responsibility to engage in public life. Teachers and students have an obligation to promote equality, justice, respect for others and democratic participation. These ideals should be integral to cultures of educational institutions and embedded within and beyond the curriculum beginning with the youngest age group and continuing throughout, and after, compulsory phases. Education for democratic citizenship is therefore a core purpose of teaching and learning within and beyond schools.


Citizenship education has a strong conceptual core. Subject knowledge for teaching is increasingly defined and distinctive and includes rights and responsibilities, government and democracy, identities and communities at local, national and global levels.


A curriculum for citizenship will be enquiry based, with students making connections between their own and others' experiences, learning to think critically about society and take action for social justice. Educational institutions where this is achieved embody learning for citizenship in their organisational leadership and in their self evaluation. Citizenship education enhances the professional values and practices of teachers and others.


Citizenship education requires students to consider public and individual issues of an ethical and political nature. These issues will be topical and often controversial. Effective education for citizenship includes the integration of conceptual understanding and the skills for civic engagement.


Citizenship education requires an integrated approach to assessment which incorporates evidence about knowledge, skills and understanding, values, dispositions and social action. The overall assessment must integrate learners' self evaluations and reflections which take account of others' observations and the teachers' evaluations of pupils.


Citizenship education is drawn from a shared values framework and informs a wider educational strategy and ethos.


Specialist citizenship teachers thus possess distinctive knowledge, skills and dispositions. They have a strong sense of the specific potential of their work and through purposeful teaching, learning and assessment engage and empower young people.


(NB: Those resources on this site directly funded by the TDA are subject to the open government licence agreement