The Child, the Pupil, the Citizen: Outlines and Perspectives of a Critical Theory of Citizenship Education

  • Federico Farini
Part of the Studies in Childhood and Youth book series (SCY)


In 2014 the English National Curricula for primary and secondary schools was heavily criticised for failing to value pupils’ understanding of concepts such as rights, responsibilities and the changing nature of democracy. In 2015 the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework confirmed a teacher-centred approach, launching the idea of education in British values. In the EYFS, values such as cooperation, freedom, responsibility are presented as social skills to be learnt. Through a critical review of the curricula, this contribution challenges the pedagogical model where citizenship is to be transmitted from the adult to the child unidirectionally, in a form where citizens are manufactured. The case for an educational recognition of citizenship as a practice embedded in the day-to-day reality of children as citizens in the present is advanced.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Federico Farini
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of NorthamptonNorthamptonUK

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