chapter  8
Citizenship: a new word for humanities?
WithMartin Ashley with Steve Barnes
Pages 23

The French enlightenment philosopher, Jean Jacques Rousseau, clearly held the English in some contempt. It is interesting, 200 odd years after the French Revolution, to reflect on the situation Rousseau described. Until very recently, the UK has been one of the very few European states which does not teach some programme of civics. Yet now the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority is happy to quote the second rather challenging statement, made by Professor David Hargreaves in a Demos pamphlet, The Mosaic of Learning. It is true that an earlier attempt was made to introduce citizenship as one of five cross-curricular themes almost at the inception of the National Curriculum. It is also true, however, that few schools took much of the cross-curricular guidance seriously, largely as a result of the much publicised curriculum overload. Yet times are changing and new priorities are emerging. History and geography have been downgraded, whilst citizenship appears to have the really serious backing of the government.