Citizenship Education and Heritage

Tim Copeland

The International Centre for Heritage Education, School of Education, University of Gloucestershire.


Citizenship has become a significant part of the National Curriculum in England (QCA 1998) and is also a component of the curricula of Scotland and Wales. This reflects a Europe-wide concern with the concept of democratic citizenship as a direct response to post-1989 socio-economic and political changes and the fall of the Communist Bloc (for example: Osler 1995; Copeland 1998; Audigier 2000; Birzea 2000). Users of component areas of the English National Curriculum are examining the rationale of their subjects to demonstrate congruency with the citizenship concept in order that their continued inclusion in the already over-crowded experience of school pupils may be justified. Since archaeology is not a major component of school curricula in the United Kingdom, but it is likely that artefacts, buildings and sites will be used diffused across the curriculum in subjects such as history, geography, art, science and technology, the term 'heritage education' is used to identify pupils' learning experiences. This article examines the relationship between democratic citizenship education and the concept of heritage and, by implication, heritage education.

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Last updated: Thur 13 June 2002