Teaching Citizenship in Primary Schools

Author(s) Claire,H.
Publisher Learning Matters
Published 2004
ISBN 1844450104
Reviewed by Mr David Storrie
University of Winchester
Review published 11 July 2006

This book will be of interest to anyone who is lecturing citizenship education to initial teacher training students. It is clear from the introduction of the book that citizenship is far from being an easy subject to define; indeed it underlines the fact that it has a different emphasis within the English, Scottish and Welsh curriculums. This is, I believe, an interesting starting point making students question what the rationale for the subject is; before they begin to find out what the author and the government believe it to be.

The book is split into two parts. The first has case studies and a number of activities which students will be able to use within the classroom. Part 2 builds upon the content of part 1. It looks at the how citizenship can be linked to geography, history and religious education. This is not only of use when considering citizenship education, but when getting students to finding meaningful and creative cross-curricular links between curriculum areas.

Each chapter begins with a summary of the content. There are activities which can be a basis for self-study directed tasks or could be built into sessions as a discussion point. These can provide truly deep and thought provoking discussion within sessions. I myself have found the activities useful when considering citizenship education within science. They can therefore be applied in a much wider context than even the book begins to illustrate.

In short this is not the most heavyweight or academic reader. It does however cover the most significant literature and legislation relevant to the subject. The students will find it thought provoking and it is certainly an excellent book for level one or two modules.