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ERIC Number: ED498625
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 24
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
ISBN: ISBN-1-8457-2628-6
Six Approaches to Post-16 Citizenship: 5. Citizenship through Single Events
Fiehn, Julia
Learning and Skills Network (NJ1)
Citizenship enables young people to learn about their rights and responsibilities, to understand how society works, and develop knowledge and understanding of social and political issues. Through citizenship education young people are encouraged to take action on issues of concern to themselves and to play an active part in the democratic process, thereby becoming more effective members of society. They are encouraged to express their views, to have a voice and make a difference to the communities in which they operate, and to reflect on what they have learnt. This title in the "Post-16 Citizenship Support Programme" series discusses citizenship through single events. Citizenship events can take the form of small, short workshops, or large day or residential conferences. They can also consist of performances, exhibitions, conventions, meetings, simulations, debates, or perhaps combine two or more of these on a particular theme over several days or a week. These single events have in common a number of features: they must be planned, organised, hosted, run and evaluated, and these are all activities that young people, with appropriate training and support, can undertake themselves. Planning and running an event on a citizenship issue that young people have identified as important to them is motivating, stimulating and enjoyable. In addition to learning more about their chosen issue, they gain new skills, increase their confidence and meet different people from their localities. Taking part in a citizenship event can provide motivation, particularly, for learners who have become disengaged with education. Through enjoyable activities, they can both change their attitudes towards getting involved in their communities and learn more about our democracy. There are many ways in which young people can be involved in developing an event. The type and level of youth participation will rely on their experience and ability, the timelines involved and the nature of the event. The "ladder of participation" concept is discussed to show the different ways in which adults and young people can work together, from the bottom of the ladder where young people are involved, but have no significant input into the event, upwards through youth-initiated and shared decision-making with adults. The author advocates that it is in the interests of the event and the young people if youth involvement reflects participation at level four (assigned but informed) and upwards. Key messages include: (1) Young people need support and training to run events; (2) The adult role is one of coach, mentor or facilitator; they should not take over; (3) Mistakes can help young people's learning; (4) Citizenship events should be inclusive; (5) Young people learn better from their peers and they are more likely to join in an event; (6) Having some autonomy builds young people's confidence and motivation; (7) Evaluation should be fun and involve participants in activities; (8) Assessment of learning from citizenship events is important to the young person and helps identify achievement so that it can be celebrated; (9) Planning is absolutely crucial and will need sufficient time; and (10) The topic of the event should be selected by young people and be of concern and interest to them. (Contains 13 endnotes.) [This document is part of a series of support materials produced by the Post-16 Citizenship Support Programme. The programme is funded by the Quality Improvement Agency (QIA) and delivered by the Learning and Skills Network (LSN).]
Learning and Skills Network. Regent Arcade House, 19-25 Argyll Street, London, W1F 7LS, UK. Tel: +44-845-071-0800; Fax: +44 20 7297 9001; email:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom