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Concerned citizens: children and the future
University of Exeter
Education, Citizenship and Social Justice
Recent initiatives in England have promoted education for citizenship, including teaching about topical global issues, for both primary and secondary pupils. Little is known, however, of primary children’s interest in this area or the extent to which they see themselves as active citizens. This article reports on a study into primary children’s hopes and fears for the future at personal, local and global levels, their action for change and the contribution of schools. The research replicates a similar study undertaken 10 years ago. Findings indicate that children are concerned about particular local and global issues - including poverty, conflict, violence and the environment - and want solutions. There are differences in the responses of girls and boys, and in the responses of the 1994 and 2004 cohorts. Possible reasons for these are discussed as are curriculum implications for citizenship education in both primary and secondary schools.
Copyright © 2006 SAGE Publications