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Teachers and Citizenship Knowledge (TACK)

This research aims to build knowledge rich curricula and support teachers both at Early Career Teacher (ECT) level and beyond in citizenship education.

The project brings a renewed focus on subject knowledge to the PGCE Citizenship, whilst engaging with and contributing to the wider subject community.

This project is funded by the Centre for Teachers and Teaching Research. It started in October 2021 and will end in July 2022.

Team

Project members have been involved in research related to human rights and some contributed to Addressing Extremism Through the Classroom, a research report from the Centre for Teachers and Teaching Research.

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Background

This project addresses the core question of the nature of a knowledge-rich citizenship curriculum. There is currently no single definitive source of the key concepts essential for understanding citizenship.

Schools in England must promote democracy, freedom, the rule of law and tolerance (the fundamental British values), which can be contextualised in international frameworks such as human rights.

Since these are all core citizenship concepts, we are at the forefront of responding to major contemporary concerns, such as resilience to extremism; combatting conspiracy theories and misinformation; understanding and acting on climate change; making sense of the rise of global protest movements including BLM, Rhodes Must Fall, Extinction Rebellion.

Methodology

The research employs a variation of the dialogic framework for action research proposed by Daly et al. (2020). 

By drawing together teachers, student teachers and academics who are already in the established networks of the IOE PGCE and ACT, we aim to build a series of honest, critical and unsettling collegial conversations to focus on subject knowledge. 

We will ensure synergy between the needs and aspirations of the PGCE students, the Citizenship PGCE programme as a whole and the wider citizenship community represented by ACT. 

We have planned a series of six masterclasses to reflect on important contemporary topics in citizenship education, including climate change, human rights, extremism and radicalisation, conspiracy theories and media literacy, race and racism, conflict and peace.

Each masterclass will include: 

  • A teacher-led case study with a focus on their account of key knowledge.
  • Introduction or response by expert sharing views on the core knowledge to understand the topic.
  • An invited audience of mentors, PGCE students and members of ACT.
  • A conversation focusing on the various conceptions of knowledge, facilitated by the research team.

These will generate professional conversations which have not been reflected in the literature to date. Such conversations are unlikely to happen in individual schools with few specialists.