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22 March, 2007

Free Speech and Citizenship

‘Free Speech and Citizenship’, was the subject of a conference held on the 16th March aiming to help teachers of both English and Citizenship make curriculum links between the subjects and deal with the sometimes controversial issue of free speech in an engaging and interesting way. Over 30 teachers and practitioners took part in a packed day of workshops and sessions organised by the Citizenship Foundation, English PEN and the Guardian Newsroom.

Editor of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger kicked off the conference with a question and answer session around how the media deal with free speech issues, and how the Guardian in particular tries to engage young people with the news. An interactive workshop around making links between the English and Citizenship curricula followed, led by Michael Callanan, English AST and contributor to Developing Citizens and Ted Huddleston from the Citizenship Foundation.

In the afternoon, PEN, led by Jonathon Heawood and Lisa Appignanesi looked at a range of case studies from literature and set texts, and how these link into the teaching of free speech issues. Meg Rosoff, celebrated author of teenage fiction books ‘How I live Now’ and ‘Just In Case’ ended the day with a session looking at the freedom to write, in relation to her own experiences as an author and writer.

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