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Open Access Citizenship education and the Ajegbo report: re-imagining a cosmopolitan nation

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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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Keywords: COSMOPOLITANISM; GLOBALISATION; HUMAN RIGHTS; IDENTITIES; MULTICULTURALISM; RACISM

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2008

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  • Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to [email protected]

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