Citizenship education can be defined as the preparation of persons to participate as active and responsible citizens within a democracy . We are living in an era of globalization, where the children are being exposed to all types of violence, technological advancement, change in culture and people growing materialistic. Therefore, there is an increased need to instill sound values in learners that will take them through life through the teaching of Values and Citizenship Education in our schools. According to the NCF 2015, the primary curriculum recognizes the need for children to be made aware of and participate in the self – development, leading to their character building, proper conduct, self – confidence and social values (NCF 2015, p.103).
One of the aim and objective of Values and Citizenship Education is to demonstrate application of the concept of conservation and sustainable development in daily life. In order to demonstrate this concept, the learners should be able to develop citizenship skills through what they hear, see, read and experience so as to make the learning more meaningful for them. Therefore, as stated in the NCF (2015), Values and Citizenship Education should be carried out through an interactive pedagogy such as drama, drawing, painting, collage, story – telling and reflection on real life experiences (NCF 2015, p.103).
Consequently, my teaching of Citizenship Education at school will be mainly based on interactive pedagogy. Interactive pedagogy is a student centered approach whereby students are encourage to interact with one another, with their teacher and their immediate surroundings. For example, class discussion with the children, to let them express their views, listening and also guiding them. Learners could also be exposed to real events happening in the society, through the use of newspaper articles, videos and pictures, which would make the class discussion and reflection much more meaningful for them. Let’s take an example of a lesson so as to illustrate how the teaching of citizenship education would be done as a separate subject (Refer to Annex 4).
Grade level: 5
Topic: Sustainable development – 3R’s
To start the class, the learners’ would be shown a picture illustrating dumping of waste somewhere in Mauritius itself. They will afterwards be asked to give their opinion, that is, whether dumping waste was a good or bad thing to do. Students are then asked about ways that they could personally protect the environment which will consequently lead to the sustainable development concept of the 3R’s, that is, Recycle, Reduce and Reuse.
A video will be used so as to illustrate in more details the sustainable development concept of the 3R’s and eventually the learners will afterwards be questioned about their understanding of the content of the video. Moreover, the teacher will consolidate the learner’s comprehension of the concept through some more explanations and discussion to make them become aware of its importance in saving our environment. Subsequently, the teacher will emphasize on the importance of reusing objects and materials that the learners have in their daily lives and in this lesson one of the focus will be on producing a creative 3D assemblage is a clear example of how we can reuse scrap materials. The learners will work in groups and will then present their 3D assemblage after completion in the morning or afternoon assembly.
Therefore, using the interactive pedagogy as claimed in the NCF (2015) will make the learning more meaningful for the children as they are learning through more dialogic and reflective practices as well as hand – on activities. So, learning through class discussion, reflection and activities as shown in the lesson, play a positive role in the improvement of academic achievement as the learners are able to actively create meaning to what is being proposed to them.