Citizenship education and the Ajegbo report: re-imagining a cosmopolitan nation
Following the 2005 London bombings, there is widespread public debate about diversity, integration, and multiculturalism in Britain, including the role of education in promoting national identity and citizenship. In response to official concerns about terrorism, a review panel was invited to consider how ethnic, religious and cultural diversity might be addressed in the school curriculum for England, specifically through the teaching of modern British social and cultural history and citizenship. The resultant Ajegbo report proposes a new strand on 'identity and diversity: living together in the UK', be added to the citizenship education framework. While the report gives impetus to teaching about diversity, it does not strengthen the curriculum framework proposed in the Crick report. It fails to adopt a critical perspective on race or multiculturalism or adequately engage with young people's lived experiences of citizenship within a globalised world. I analyse how the review panel conceptualises identity, democracy and diversity. I then consider its assumptions about racism, human rights, and citizenship education, concluding with reflections on how citizenship education might be developed in the task of re-imagining the nation and meeting the needs of emergent cosmopolitan citizens.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2008
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