07 SES 13 B, Citizenship, Environmental and Intercultural Education
This paper addresses the ECER conference theme and network interests by focusing on issues of civic belonging, identity and the role of schools in promoting these. The context of the discussion is the growing ethnic diversity in many European countries (Faas 2013). How do European states respond to and seek to address the critical tension between cohesion and diversity? This issue is now further complicated by a Europe-wide concern with counter-radicalisation (Ragazzi 2017). One ‘solution’ to both ‘problems’ is the perceived need to induct migrants into the values of the host nation-state. The paper explores the role schools are assigned in this task. It asks what notions of ‘good’ citizenship are promulgated by teachers and who do these representations include/exclude? Theoretical resources are drawn from writing on ‘affective citizenship’ (e.g. Mookherjee 2005, Fortier 2010, Johnson 2010, Di Gregorio and Merolli 2016). Affective citizenship focuses attention on bodies and feelings, emotions about one’s own and others’ citizenship, rather than on legal status, or the rights and responsibilities held by rational subjects.
First, the paper discusses the role of civic/citizenship education and how this has been shaped by increasing diversity, and recent counter-extremist policies in different European states, with a focus on France and The Netherlands but also referring to other states (Ragazzi 2017, Butt & Tuck 2014). France and The Netherlands are chosen because the latter has a history of multiculturalism similar to Britain (Joppke 2004) and was also an early adopter of counter-radicalisation policies (Ragazzi 2017) with emphasis on values teaching (Mattei & Broeks 2018, Pieters 2017, Weiner 2016). France has a different history with regard to diversity, having taken a more assimilationist approach (Favell 2016), and the Ministry of Education is currently implementing a programme to teach the values of the Republic in schools, (L’enseignement moral and civique, Busch & Morys 2016, Proeschel 2017). Schools in many European countries have recently been given responsibilities to identify and report young people at risk of radicalisation, and the argument is made here that this conflicts with building a relationship of trust between teachers and pupils, discouraging debate and a model of critical citizenship (Ragazzi 2017).
Second, the paper turns to the English response. This includes, in addition to a reporting duty of the type just mentioned (called the Prevent duty) a requirement that schools promote ‘fundamental British values’ (defined by the government as democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of other faiths). This is a framed as a loose policy with little central government guidance. Drawing on qualitative empirical research in English schools, the paper discusses the various ways in which the participating schools have responded, and identifies i) a reliance on cultural symbols often associated with Britain (e.g. the Queen and fish and chips) which represents a confusion between symbols and values, and ii) a repackaging of a school’s existing activities (so having a pupil council responds to the requirement to promote ‘democracy’). However, iii) some schools have chosen to respond in more progressive ways, stressing equalities work around racism and homophobia for example, and/or an emphasis on global citizenship, and examples are given. I consider what understandings of citizenship these different types of response offer to pupils, especially those from minority groups, and what factors lead teachers to make these varied responses, emphasising, first, the performative climate within which teachers work, and second, teachers’ differing understandings of the ‘needs’ of their pupils, understandings that, as I will show, are heavily influenced by pupils’ social class, ethnicity and religion.
With reference to the empirical data, the paper will offer a discussion of access, data collection and analysis, and ethical issues. Briefly, the data were mostly collected during the school year 2016/17. The research project is funded by the Leverhulme Trust for two years (October 2016-September 2018) as a Major Research Fellowship (i.e. a sole researcher project). The empirical data set at the time of writing consists of 56 interviews and 44 observations (mainly lessons and assemblies) in total. The majority of these were collected in nine case study schools (four primary and five secondary) with different pupil demographics, in terms of social class and ethnic mix. They include academies (state-funded schools independent of local authority control) and local authority maintained school, and one is a faith school. In addition to the interviews at the case study schools, and in order to reach a wider range of schools, I conducted one-off interviews with senior leaders at eight schools, including two faith schools. I also spoke with ten other individuals who have a professional interest in the British values policy (e.g. faith school advisers, teacher trainers, and teacher union representatives). Finally I also attended four training sessions/conferences on the teaching of British values. Core themes for interviews with teachers and senior leaders included: their understanding of the population the school serves and any particular challenges that arise; their understandings of the duty to promote ‘British values’ and how this fits with both the school’s existing citizenship education, and the broader priorities of the school; how British values can be and are promoted through i) the curriculum, ii) the ethos and values of the school; and areas of uncertainty, tension and success in promoting these values. Analysis, theorisation and writing is taking place throughout the project and feeds back into the data collection to enable progressive focusing and identification of new themes in interviews with respondents. Data were hand-coded and initial theoretical categories drawn from existing literature, research and theory on diversity, values-teaching, counter-radicalisation, citizenship, social and community cohesion. These categories have been refined and challenged through engagement with and scrutiny of the data in order that both prevailing tendencies and discrepant cases are identified (Lecompte and Preissle, 1993). Interim findings are being disseminated to the case study schools at the time of writing.
The paper has two sets of key findings. First, with specific regard to the British values policy: that its blunt generalizations and ambiguities are not sophisticated enough to meet its aim of increasing young people’s sense of belonging to the nation state. Furthermore, although several of the schools in the research succeeded in smoothing the sharp nationalistic - and potentially exclusive - edges of the British values policy, in some school sites, engagement with issues of citizenship largely relied on teacher exhortations of mutual respect that left un-discussed social and ethnic inequalities. Banks’ (2015) concept of ‘failed citizenship’ is referred to as it describes a situation in which individuals and groups are prevented from attaining ‘full structural inclusion’ into a nation state. It is suggested therefore that this policy and others modelled on it are unlikely to fulfil their aim of promoting a sense of belonging and commitment to the nation-state (and, as intended, increasing young people’s resilience against radicalisation). Second, the paper takes up the small number of more far-reaching school initiatives – such as the example of a planned and progressive programme of citizenship education from one particular school with a majority minority (Muslim) population. I elaborate on these existing innovations in a final discussion of the ways forward to promote ‘intercultural citizenship education’ (Byram et al 2016, see also Osler & Starkey 2018).
Banks, J. (2015) Failed citizenship, civic engagement, and education. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 51,4: 151-154. Busch, M. and Morys, N., (2016) “Mobilising for the values of the Republic”- France's education policy response to the “fragmented society” JSSE-Journal of Social Science Education, 15,3: 47-57. Butt, R. and Tuck, H., (2014) European counter-radicalisation and de-radicalisation: A comparative evaluation of approaches in the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. Institute for Strategic Dialogue Cross-Country Evaluation Report. http://www. strategicdialogue. org/De-radicalisation_final. pdf. Byram, M., Golubeva, I., Hui, H. and Wagner, M. (eds.) (2016) From principles to practice in education for intercultural citizenship. Multilingual Matters. Department for Education (DfE) (2014) Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC in schools. London, DfE. Di Gregorio, M. and Merolli, J. (2016) Introduction: affective citizenship and the politics of identity, control, resistance. Citizenship Studies, 20,8: 933-942. Faas, D., (2013). Ethnic diversity and schooling in national education systems: Issues of policy and identity. Education Inquiry, 4,1: 5-10. Favell, A., (2016) Philosophies of integration: Immigration and the idea of citizenship in France and Britain. Springer. Fortier, A.M., (2010) Proximity by design? Affective citizenship and the management of unease. Citizenship studies, 14,1: 17-30. Johnson, C., (2010) The politics of affective citizenship: from Blair to Obama. Citizenship studies, 14, 5: 495-509. Joppke, C., (2004) The retreat of multiculturalism in the liberal state: theory and policy. The British journal of sociology, 55, 2: 237-257. Lecompte, M. and Preissle, J. (1993) Ethnography and Qualitative Design in Educational Research, Second Edition, Academic Press. Mattei, P. and Broeks, M., (2018) From multiculturalism to civic integration: Citizenship education and integration policies in the Netherlands and England since the 2000s. Ethnicities, 18, 1: 23-42 Mookherjee, M., (2005) Affective citizenship: feminism, postcolonialism and the politics of recognition. Critical review of international social and political philosophy, 8, 1: 31-50. Osler A. & Starkey H., (2018) Extending the theory and practice of education for cosmopolitan citizenship, Educational Review, 70:1, 31-40, Pieters, J. (2017) Dutch schools should pay more attention to integration: Education Inspectorate. Retrieved from https://nltimes.nl/2017/02/07/dutch-schools-pay-attention-integration-education-inspectorate. Proeschel, C., (2017) Commentary:‘“Mobilising for the Values of the Republic” JSSE-Journal of Social Science Education, 16, 2: 65-69. Ragazzi, F. (2017) The Challenges of counter-radicalisation policies in education in the Council of Europe member states. Council of Europe. Weiner, M.F., (2015). Whitening a diverse Dutch classroom: white cultural discourses in an Amsterdam school. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 38,2: 359-376
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