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23 November, 2004

Citizens and Society - a new approach to political literacy

"A ground-breaking teaching resource from the Citizenship Foundation"

Citizens and Society, a new approach to teaching political literacy, has been published by Hodder Murray.

Rather than being a dry survey of the institutions and procedures of the British political system, Citizens and Society sets out to introduce young people in a systematic way to the ideas and discussions that bring politics to life. Ideas and arguments are central to political literacy, a concept which is broader than just political knowledge. They enable students to make sense of the political world and their roles as citizens, and develop a vision of how society should be.

Citizens and Society contains easy-to-use yet detailed, photocopiable lesson plans that enable young people to grasp the concepts needed to think about and debate political issues. Distinctive ideas are introduced through a range of stimuli, including stories, raps, and campaign material, and explored through a series of discussion-based activities.

Topics include:

• What does it mean to be a citizen?

• Should we be free to do what we want?

• What makes society a fair one?

• Why do we need a government?

• Why won’t politicians answer the question?

The book offers excellent support to teachers and is certain to encourage the effective teaching of political literacy in the classroom. Each lesson is mapped on to the Citizenship programmes of study for Key Stages 3 and 4, and on to the requirements of GCSE short courses in Citizenship Studies and AS Citizenship: Social Studies. This resource pack will also be useful for AS Government and Politics and Critical Thinking. The book is based on a two year research project funded by the DfES and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

An exemplar teaching unit is available on the Citizenship Foundation website. Please visit:


To order a copy of the book, email: schools@bookpoint.co.uk or Tel: Bookpoint 01235 827720 or Fax: 01235 400454. Cost: £40 each.

Further information

To find out more please email:

Notes for editors:

About the Citizenship Foundation

The Citizenship Foundation is an independent charity (no.801360) which aims to empower individuals to engage in the wider community through education about the law, democracy and society, Founded in 1989, it focuses on developing young people’s citizenship skills, knowledge and understanding. Its work includes resources, training, active learning programmes, community projects and research. www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk

Citizenship became part of the National Curriculum in September 2002, in England for 11-16 year olds.

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