Increasing Constructive Engagement in Young People

The key to a strong political narrative in the UK is to build it into our children and encourage them to actively engage with politics. Not just activism but a genuine understanding of political theory and philosophy. Start by teaching politics in schools (Y10/11), teach all political philosophies unbiased, and how they align to the current political thought and parties - build knowledge and insight across the spectrum. Teach how to establish a new party if none exists for their views and how to get involved in activism and grass-roots politics - underpin it with real, deliberate thought and action. Teach peaceful activism and debate and encourage students to engage with the NUS and establish school political unions – teachers have one. Encourage debate. Advance the voting age to 16 – its their future, let them have a say; but do it once you have brought the impact their decision to reality. Make it real: encourage politicians to engage with schools. Not just turn up and give speeches for photo ops but really engage and chair debates, take part in debates – be challenged by students!

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  • Patrick Nelson
    tagged this with like 2016-08-02 10:55:39 +0100
  • Sue Fewster
    commented 2016-07-30 21:23:44 +0100
    *problems… I should also place an irony warning in there.
  • Sue Fewster
    commented 2016-07-30 21:22:50 +0100
    in my opinion citizenship lessons are used to deliver PHSE lessons on drugs, sexual health, alcohol abuse etc… You know the things that most state pupils seem to have oroblems with.
  • Sue Fewster
    commented 2016-07-30 21:19:49 +0100
    We engage the teachers by making it a Core subject: one that all students must reach a certain level of achievement in. In other words one that impacts the schools position in league tables…
  • Tim Whitcher
    commented 2016-07-30 20:23:47 +0100
    In most private schools… that’s an interesting point because it doesn’t appear to be the case in state schools (based on the experience of young relatives / friends kids). In which case it should in state schools from Y7 onward as well. And as you say – taken seriously. So the question is how do we engage the teachers?
  • Sue Fewster
    commented 2016-07-30 19:48:20 +0100
    I agree with the notion of teaching politics in state schools. It currently happens in most private schools from Year 7, so why only in Years 10 and 11?

    Blunkett tried to influence this in citizenship lessons, which are still supposed to be taught. But teachers are not engaging: they don’t take it seriously and citizenship lessons are often used as carpaccio up time for exam revision etc; another reason it needs to be started earlier, or, even better to become a compulsory element in the Ebacc and one of the Core subjects schools are measured on.

    A further difficulty would be the recruitment of teachers in politics… Not many around.
  • Sue Fewster
    tagged this with like 2016-07-30 19:48:19 +0100
  • Tim Whitcher
    published this page in Join the debate 2016-07-30 16:17:36 +0100