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URGENT!!! employability of Citizenship NQTs

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by Mayenka, Jun 17, 2007.

  1. gmf


    "Exactly the kind of limited intellect I had in mind!"

    If you want to swap insults rather than debate this topic, then fine - doesn't say much for the strength of your argument though...I notice you don't deal with any of the points I make - too intelelctually challenging, were they? I wonder if you are as well qualified as I am...

    My guess is that only someone who CAN'T teach a real subject to A Level gets involved with Citizenship...
  2. You haven't got any points to make, you simply make assertions of your opinions unsupported by evidence. I have cited (and provided links to) factual evidence that contradicts those assertions.

    For example; you "think" it is true that Citizenship is a 'new labour' invention. I have produced "evidence" to prove it is not (a) by citing the Weatherill Report, (b) by reference to the Council for Education in World Citizenship (c) by demonstrating with just two examples from the dozens available that Citizenship education is a global phenomenon (d) by providing a link to the Ofsted report that points out that Citizenship education has been developing in our schools for 100 years.

    20 years teaching Politics, Economics and Sociology in schools to 'A' level, and 13 years as an 'A' level examiner. Former Head of Dept and Head of 6th Form/Deputy Head. BSc, MA, and PhD close to completion. Currently teaching on BA, BSc, and MA courses and running a Citizenship PGCE.

    My vested interest is to protect potential and current PGCE Citizenship students (and I have also provided evidence of their considerable successes) from the ill informed scaremongering of people who really don't know what thay are talkng about.

    Your contributions ..... D- must try harder!
  3. gmf


    "My vested interest"

    Now you've been smoked out as a pig with your snout in the New Labour trough we can all judge your opinons for what they are...

    I pity your students - whatever you say I'm certain that their careers will be adversley affected by their choice of (non) subject...

    NB So you taught "Politics, Economics and Sociology" - pity you couldn't manage at least ONE real subject then...
  4. Positively my last post - I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed adversary.

    Far from being 'smoked out' I stated in my very first post in this thread that I ran a Citizenship PGCE.

    Yesterday another one of my 'unemployable' PGCE Citizenship graduates, who is just completing only her second year in the job, e-mailed me to tell me she'd just been internally promoted, and would be receiving a TLR of over £8k on top of her classroom teachers salary for leading Citizenship. From memory that's the 12th graduate out of 43 in 3 years that has been made HoD or Co-ordinator with 2 years of achieving QTS .... and 40 of those 43 graduates are in full time, permanent teaching posts teaching Citizenship, or Citizenship in combination with other subjects.

    85 people a year apply to get on my course, only a lucky 15 will be successful.
  5. gmf


    Well sneer all you like - but try arguing away the fact that currently the TES is showing:

    355 English posts
    146 IT posts
    98 Geography posts
    86 History posts

    Oh - and 9 Citizenship ones...

    You are nothing but hot air, and like your subject you will soon disappear...and frankly no-one will notice or care
  6. gmf - what point are you trying to prove - there will always be some subjects that outnumber others in terms of vacancies. The number of timetabled hours for English will always outweigh those dedicated to Citizenship. It is purely relative and does little to support your case.
  7. gmf


    Re: Post 25 - you say:

    "gmf - what point are you trying to prove"

    Actually I was answering the OP's questions re: employability of Citizenship trainees - which got somewhat sidetracked by Bobdog as it clearly ruffled his feathers that I don't accept that Citizenship is either a 'real' subject or is currently being taught by specilist teachers in all schools (in factin few, in my experience).

    At the end of the day we can all make our own decisions - but if someone I knew/was related to was thinking of a career as a teacher, I would do my best to warn them off Citizenship...
  8. A post in support of Bobdog.

    I too run a citizenship PGCE. This year I have 22/22 in employment - nearly all in straight citizenship jobs. And this year has been no one-off. Many jobs are offered to trainees during placements - other schools contact the universities directly for recruits - so the TES does not represent the true number of posts being offered

    In defence subject
    I find the idea of someone coming out of an education system without a knowledge of their basic rights, of the criminal and civil justice systems, of the various religious and cultural diversity of in the UK, of the basic workings of government, of how the economy functions, the role of the media in society?.. absolutely amazing

    In some sense education is about the preparation for adult life. What sort of preparation is it if such topics are not covered? The omission of such areas in the National Curriculum was a glaring oversight and citizenship is to be welcomed. It has also been included (and beefed up to some extent) in the new curriculum ? so is certainly here for a while

    England was one of the few countries in the western world not to address such issues in the their education system. In other countries citizenship, or social science or civics (the name changes) is an established part of the school life ? its existence is not questioned.

    It only natural that many teachers who are trained in different subjects are hostile/suspicious/dismissive about the merits of this new subject. Most teachers are passionate advocates of their own subject, and rightly so. They cannot be expected to be as passionate about a new subject. Also some teachers perceive citizenship as a threat ? perhaps touching upon some of the more interesting areas of their own subject. Further, the existence of citizenship in the curriculum potentially means less time for other subjects ? again another understandable cause of hostility.

    Some questioning about citizenship is therefore to be expected. Besides the existence of every subject (apart from maybe English) could be reasonably questioned. (Personally I think way too much history and maths is taught ? with the result of boring most and putting many off education for life.)

    We should also note that citizenship was amongst the first recorded subjects taught. Many of the sophists saw their entire educational role as preparing young men for public life, which involved understanding politics, morality and rhetoric (citizenship education). The so-called ?public schools? in England saw their remit as preparing the future leaders and public servants of tomorrow (again citizenship education). The emergence of national education systems in many countries is also closely linked to establishment or sustaining of democracy (again citizenship education). (See Derek Heater?s The History of Citizenship Education for more)

    So citizenship education is by no means new. It is amongst the oldest subjects and taught without question throughout the western world.

    Citizenship lessons have the potential to relate to students? current and future lives in a way that few subjects can achieve. I think that all you trainee citizenship teachers out there have made the right decision. Based on the employment trends in the last few years you will all be snapped up by schools who desperately need your assistance in delivering this fascinating and important subject
  9. Five years ago I qualified as a History teacher. At this time my training school was just getting into Citizenship and I found it interesting to say the least. For my NQT year I moved to the school I still work in today. After a year I was asked what responsibilities I would be interested in. I instantly said Citizenship. Not long after I became Citizenship Co-ordinator (the school didn't have one at that time). From this point on I began to phase History out of my timetable - to the horror of some staff.

    A year later I picked up PSHE as well. Then I noticed an opening to tie alot of things together - including Careers, Enterprise and Duke of Edinburgh Award and I suggested to Senior Management that I become Head of a Life Skills Faculty - they loved the idea and here I am today head of my own faculty. It wasn't History that led me to this point - it was Citizenship.

    Additionally Citizenship gives me the opportunity to work across the whole school and introduce initiatives in a way that History didn't. If you can show success in Citizenship and deal with the negativity that surrounds it - it looks very good on your C.V. and is certainly a good career move.

    Anyone who is familiar with the 14-19 Agenda would acknowledge that Citizenship has a future. Schools that don't make Citizenship a teaching priority are there for the taking. You will find that their Senior Management will love innovative and creative ideas just as mine did. Citizenship can inspire under-achievers and low ability pupils, as well as gifted and talented pupils.

    I would urge Citizenship teachers to develop ideas and take them to the top - they will be surprised by the reaction. Please don't be thinking that my school must be awash with cash so that I can go spending it on ideas - because believe me - there is no spare cash in my school. Clever adjustments can be made with time alone - no cash needed!

    There is alot of narrow-mindedness on this thread and that is such a shame as the kids deserve better.
  10. My genuine advice to you would be to train to teach RE and if you get the opportunity, offer to teach a bit of Citizenship in your placements.

    As an RE NQT schools will be biting your hand off to employ you.

    Hope this helps.
  11. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I our school each faculty was given a printed copy of the Citizen 'syllabus'. We then looked through it and ringed all the bits that were covered by our own science syllabuses. A deputy head then took away all the pieces of paper and lo and behold everything was covered, some of it several times. We got the sheets back and cut and pasted the stuff into out Schemes of work. Job done. Then we appointed a Citizenship co-ordinator who then organises collapsed days and weeks around citizenship.

    It ain't rocket science!

    Tell me, what does a citizenship specialist actually do? Do they have a timetable and teach lessons? What has to be lost from the timetable to fit it in?
  12. People here keeping saying Citizenship is not a "real" subject well consider this - the students at my school are taught by specialist PSHE and C teachers,If they were not taught these things e.g. AIDS, drugs, sex education, human rights, interview techniques etc etc. They could walk away with a fist full of GCSE's at the end of year 11 but if they fail at any of the areas that are covered in PSHE and C then those GCSE's are useless!!!
    We also have a buddy system and I know an experienced young teacher observed a lesson in PSHE and C and they admitted themselves they would not feel comfortable speaking so honestly to the students in a subject they really did need to know. It is not fair giving somebody those lessons to deliver jsut because they have a space on their timetabe not fair on them and not fair on the students as they would not be taught as in depth as necessary!!

    I will get off my soap box now

  13. Hi,
    Ive just finished PGCE Citizenship and on my course they offer another suject for 'employability'.

    I agree with Siskin,its a fantastic subject. Particularly the AQA specfication is like breaking down Politics to enable GCSE students to understand it. Its other boards making a mess just teaching a simplified version of Geography!

    The irritating thing is that a least half the schools ive heard of dont have a clue and are teaching PSHE in that time calling it Citizenship leading to different school leavers have different ideas of what Citizenship is! One school i was in actually resented it like the Government had purposely brought it in on a whim to burden teachers.

    Students that arent taking it seriously do so coz role models such as teachers are telling them its not a real subject when if you actually look at what it teaches, theres a big hole in students subject knowledge here. Gordon Blair is the Prime Minister?????

    Anyway, the point is alot of schools do not realise they need a Citizenship specialist. They just expect Humanities teachers to teach it and in a school i was in they quite rightly didnt want to teach anything else but the subject theyd trained in. Or they just found elements of Citizenship in existing courses to tick boxes off. Maybe if they took some on it would be more like the Government had intended.

    We teach History coz its important to know what has occured previously in the world but people dont want to teach what is going on currently and how the county is run? People only resent it coz its new and theyve been given a degree of choice on how to implement it. If it was always there like other Humanities subjects theyd see it as just as important.

    Having said that, most people from my course have got jobs in Humanities subjects but as other people have said, your degree is a factor.

    I think you could certainly get a History job with Citizenship PGCE coz you have a Politics background and for many people i know, the PGCE was just a way to do teacher training in general.

    At the end of the day, i think its very much about selling yourself. I love the theory behind Citizenship, but im gonna get into another subject due to so many people with a downer on it and its so inconsistent from school to school that its like flogging a dead horse.

  14. Long post i know, but just one last thing to add!!!

    I cannot believe that teachers OPENYL admit to trying to find Citizenship elements in subjects that couldnt be further from Citizenship just to tick boxes and keep Ofsted off their back. How does circling bits in existing courses help students?

    This may just be the naiveness of a new teacher, but i didnt think education was just about what suits teachers! I thought that teaching is about students finding out something new and learning things they can apply in real life. I must be crazy eh! Covering Citizenship in Science, how fantastic. And yet there are still thousands of 16 year olds leaving school this year unable to state just TWO Political parties currently in our OWN Parliament.

  15. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Sky Blue Heaven.

    If you think that without citizenship teachers would not teach how the world runs today then you have not spent long enough in real schools. The modern GCSE science syllabus contains loads of stuff like this.
  16. Blazer - I'm intrigued...can you elaborate on what parts of the science syllabus Citizenship is covered?
  17. gmf


    Re: Posts 32 & 33

    Yes I think you are naive - there was no extra funding in schools for Citizenship, so in order to employ a Citizenship specialist some would have had to make another teacher redundant and cut (for example) the range of MFLs taught or the breadth of sports offered... The bottom line is that Citizenship is widely perceived as a 'New Labour' invention that was created for political, not educational reasons, and anyway it has no standing in the League Tables - and that is what (sadly) schools are judged on these days.

    Incidentally I would never appoint a Citizenship specialist to teach a Humanity at above KS3, unless they had at least half a degree in a Humanity too...

  18. I realise it is a New Labour invention, its blatently meant to encourage voting in young people.

    But theres the potential to take advantage of this to benefit students.
  19. There's no extra funding for any subjects, so that is a bit of a misnomer really.

    Science does cover aspects of the Citizenship curriculum, but it certainly doesn't talk about which political party is in power!

    Fact of the matter is, there are people who hate it, people who love it, just like RE, PSHE & even subjects like tech & music.
  20. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    When I am teaching I cover stuff like supply and demand affecting price, The role of the electorate in determining government policies on things like the environment. The economics of industrial production and the social effects of industries etc. This often leads to debates on all sorts of subjects. Organ transplant, blood doning, education. All these can be slotted in if you have enough imagination.

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