Keynote Ian Davies


Creative citizenship education

Citizenship education is contested. I will suggest that while (of course) there is always a need to continue the research that leads almost inevitably to debate, there is already some clarity about the ways in which researchers have helped to characterise and develop citizenship education. I will make an argument for a global, diverse, inclusive perspective in which there are opportunities to promote understanding and achievement of social justice. I will suggest that we need to be alert to the philosophical perspectives that inform the type of citizenship education that we are promoting and that we should be clear about the location of our work in that we are concerned not only with schools but also wider communities of many different types. I argue that in order to develop creative and critical thinking and action we should prioritise a conceptually-based curriculum in which, through a constructivist approach, we explore and develop substantive and procedural understandings and abilities. We can achieve that development through pedagogical approaches that go across a range of school subjects, whole school contexts and wider communities and go far beyond simply transferring information or engaging students in arguments about a pressing contemporary controversy – and avoiding the promotion of simplistic moralistic messages. Finally, I will suggest that researchers and others have a key role to play in developing supportive frameworks for citizenship education. The relationship between research and impact is extremely complex and there is a need to consider the role that researchers play in the development of policy and practice.

About the speaker

I am the author of numerous books (published by Routledge, Continuum, Sage and others) and many articles in academic journals most of which explore issues related to teaching and learning about contemporary society (with a particular focus on citizenship education).  I lecture and research extensively in international contexts and have been successful in attracting funding from a wide range of government and non-government agencies in the UK and elsewhere.

I teach and supervise undergraduate, MA and PhD students and initial teacher education trainees.

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