I have been waiting to send a third message to this seminar.
Of course, I shall express a personal POV on the French practises.The national curriculum requirements for citizenship became statutory in September 2002.
Citizenship is part of the curriculum in France. In colleges (11-15),
it is mainly taught by historians (they teach also geography).
To sum up, some titles from the official curriculum :
6 -The school
5 - Citizens' s Equality
4 - Freedoms
3 - Republic and democracy
The full curriculum in French : http://www.ac-rouen....o/pgm/index.htm
In lycees, "Education civique" was seen as an active learning after 1945.
But teachers took more time teaching history and geography.
So in 1997, a new Citizenship curriculum was set, and called ECJS
(éducation civique, juridique et sociale). 3 choices were made :
- a political one
: that this new teaching would help to fight growing incivilities. A first name was ECJP, P standing for Politics.
- an intellectual one
: to leave a divided knowledge, and to encourage the interdisciplinary nature of our teaching
- a pedagogical one
: to replace lectures by a combination of a documentary search and a "democratic" debate in small groups.
In brief, the curriculum is organised on 3 years :
classe de 2de : From social life to citizenship
1ere - Politics, from law to practises
Term - Citizenship in a changing world
The full curriculum, in French : http://www.histgeo.a...ec_sec_prog.htm http://www.histgeo.a...ec_pre_prog.htm http://www.histgeo.a...ec_ter_prog.htm . Why not offer to take it on board if all KS3 pupils are given an extra period per week ?
We "teach" small groups, 30 minutes a week
In fact, either 1 hour every 2 weeks or 2 hours a month
This can have damaging effects on a class weekly timetable… - What global assessment can be made from a 7 years practise ?
Laurent Wirth and Marc Fort have written an official report ; in chapter 2.3, they see "Un malaise autour de l'ECJS
"("a discontent", "an uneasiness" about Citizenship curriculum ) ftp://trf.education.gouv.fr/pub/edutel/sy...orts/reflyc.pdf
. On the positive side, ECJS brings : An another way of "teaching",
with smaller groups ;
The possibility to debate of controversial matters
The faculty to go from factual history to sociology of the social and political powers…
ECJS can be applied to teach a "lecture critique" (critical thinking
?) of newspapers and TV.
For instance, what is the role recently played by images from Iraq
? . On the negative side
, ECJS has been created by reducing the history-geography schedules in 1ere S and Term S
And it can be taught by any other subject, ranging from philosophers to sports teachers… it is not good enough to teach about Democracy in the context of Rome. It has to be applied to Britain today
No trouble, for us, on this issue : we teach mainly contemporary history
, and geography of a changing world. We use also long term history to study the roots of contemporary questions, for instance Palestine-Israel and the Balfour declaration of 1917.But we may encounter several difficulties
. Citizenship can endanger the history teaching
: at this moment, having to teach what Europe has inherited from Athens, we do not focus on art history, philosophy or science, but on citizenship. In such a choice, we may forget that our political system is totally different from the Athenian one ; we may teach a reconstructed history (Have you ever tried to speak to 30 000 individuals, even on the Pnyx ???
. History tend to be taught from our present situation
. Teaching "The XIIth century Mediterranean", we are told to focus on the intellectual exchanges between Christians, Moslims, and Jews. The Crusades were also wars and fightings...
. In some cases, we teach how to debate in Citizenship, but History is no longer seen as a matter of political and scientific controversies
. History is often seen as a patrimonial story which has to be learnt (It is our "linguistic turn", as if representations were playing a greater role than the real events...).
One interesting issue has been dealt in this Forum : what European history
should we teach ?
How can we avoid transferring at the European level the dangerous choices of all nationalist histories in Europe ? Pupils see the diversity of human experience, and understand more about themselves as individuals and members of society; It is absolutely necessary to teach democratic value, both on human rights for men and women, on political alternance, on the necessity for countervailing powers.
"Citoyen" as an adjective has become a fashionable adjective, much more than "civic" or "civism". With the "fair trade" (commerce équitable), even your shopping at Leclerc ( a kind of Sainsbury 's) should be "citoyen" !
To conclude, our changing world has a surprising sense of Citizenship
- The rise of the peepshow TV
is just the reverse of the value we want to teach.
- The "liberal" globalisation
does not really improve the living standard of African men and women. But it affect jobs in our societies, and it creates more precariousness
- Some political and religious leaders seem to choose to lead their countries on the way of a clash of civilisations.
Edited by D Letouzey, 17 May 2004 - 09:33 AM.