Economic aspects of citizenship education: an investigation of students' understanding
In 2002 education for citizenship will become a statutory requirement in English secondary schools for the first time. Broad guidelines which have been issued to schools include some elements of economic understanding, although this aspect of citizenship has attracted little attention in public debate. Moreover, relatively little is known about students' current thinking on these aspects of citizenship. Our article addresses this gap in current knowledge through reporting results from a large-scale (over 1000 responses) survey of 15- and 17-year-old students. A draft survey was trialled in May 2000 and revised in the light of students' responses and discussion at a research seminar in July 2000. The questionnaire focuses on students' understanding of, and attitude towards, aspects of taxation, government spending, employment and inflation. These results may usefully inform planning for programmes of citizenship education and they can also provide a point of reference for subsequent evaluation of those programmes.
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