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ERIC Number: EJ880674
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-0264-3944
Conflicting Concepts of Participation in Secondary School Citizenship
Mead, Nick
Pastoral Care in Education, v28 n1 p45-57 Mar 2010
This paper examines a rare response by Ofsted to academics' concerns about a prevailing compliance model of Citizenship in secondary schools. Ofsted's defence of a non-compliance model is then tested against a small sample of Ofsted inspection data. The limited evidence suggests that Ofsted's defence is undermined by the adoption of an instrumentalist approach to participation, driven by the school improvement agenda, and, it is argued, reinforced by the Every Child Matters agenda. The outcome of this approach, which promotes an uncritical concept of participation, is an uncoupling of the political, moral and community that lay at the heart of the Crick Report. Parallels are drawn with the late-nineteenth-century compliance model of Citizenship, which Ofsted claim in their defence is very different from the twenty-first-century participatory model. There follows a review of political change since the Crick Report, which suggests that lack of participation by young people--which is the premise of both that report and Ofsted's depoliticized version of it--is no longer the issue; instead, the question is about whether there should be participation at any cost. To exemplify what this critical concept of participation might look like in a school context, the author draws on his case study of an Iraq war school protest in a fresh start school. It is argued that this example of critical participation maintains the link between the political and moral, and thereby actually makes a contribution to school improvement, by acknowledging staff and pupils' awareness of the complexities, emotions and contradictions of participation. The paper concludes that depoliticized dutiful citizenship will be encouraged if the prevailing concept of participation in schools is an instrumental and uncritical one. This in turn may lead to a widening gulf between the school's and the pupils' understanding of participation, which may eventually impact on sustained school improvement.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom