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What? No CSPE?

Dear Minister O'Sullivan, please make the teaching of CSPE (Civil, Social and Political Education) a core part of the curriculum with a focus on student learning.

Please sign this petition 

"The lack of debate about the exclusion of civic, social and political education (CSPE) from the core curriculum of the proposed new Junior Cycle programme is almost as surprising as the subject's downgrading."(Source: extract from an article in The Sunday Times 02-02-2014 by Dr. Gerry Jeffers. Dr. Jeffers is a lecturer at the education department, NUI Maynooth, and a former national co-ordinator of the Transition Year curriculum-support service)

 

PHOTO© Irish Times Newspaper

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The following explains the importance of CSPE.

Update on state of Citizenship Education


· We welcome the new Junior Certificate Student Award and the flexibility if offers students and schools, with its mix of Statements of Learning and Key Skills. (See www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/A-Framework-for-Junior-Cycle-Full-Report.pdf )


· The following four of the 24 Statements of Learning refer to citizenship education and form the basis for the CSPE Short course produced by the NCCA.
The student:


7.   values what it means to be an active citizen, with rights and responsibilities in local and wider contexts

9.   understands the origins and impacts of social, economic, and environmental aspects of the world  around her/him

10.   has the awareness, knowledge, skills, values and motivation to live sustainably

23.   brings an idea from conception to realisation


· Schools will offer a mix of full subjects, short courses and other learning experiences. A maximum of ten full subjects or their equivalent will be certified, with a short course equivalent to half of a full subject. Schools can decide or various combinations, with a maximum of four short courses being certified. (See pages 2-3 of the Framework for a full explanation of possible combinations)


· Following the introduction of the new Junior Cycle, each school will have the responsibility to determine their curriculum to ensure that all students access the full 24 Statements of Learning i.e. through full subjects or short courses or other learning experiences. (see Framework for a full explanation of how this will work) 

Challenges facing CSPE in the new Junior Cycle


· Schools will no longer be obliged to teach CSPE as a discreet subject. It will be neither mandatory nor subject to State Examination Commission examination. (This will also apply to some other subjects)


· There will be reduced curriculum space for CSPE in the context of a restricted number of subjects which can be certified.


· While it would appear that Well-Being – incorporating SPHE and PE – are being protected, this protection does not currently extend to CSPE


· Some schools may decide to cover the relevant Statements of Learning in a cross-curricular way rather than as a discreet subject, for example, global warming in Geography, role of media in society through English, celebrating Human Rights Day, organising a once-off event to celebrate cultural diversity or protect the environment.


· The Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, (former) has recently announced that Politics and Society will be introduced as an optional Leaving Certificate subject. It is less likely that students will choose this option if the position of CSPE is diluted. (See http://www.ncca.ie/en/file/post_primary/Politics-and-Society-Syllabus.pdf for the Politics and Society syllabus)

Call to Action – what you can do to maintain a strong Citizenship Education component in Junior Cycle

· Lobby to support the continuation of CSPE as a discreet subject with a timetabled allocation of more than 70 hours, preferably as a Short Course of 100 hours.
 

How You Can Lobby
· Write to the DES and NCCA making the case forr the retention of CSPE as a discreet timetabled subject


· Lobby your local politicians – Dáil, Seanad, Council and MEPs - to support this case for CSPE


· Contact your local and/or national media, print and radio, to support the need for CSPE to remain a timetabled subject
 

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