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12th Apr 2024 2:48pm Blogs

ACT Citizenship Teaching Awards 2024: A Journey into Citizenship Education and the Vision for an Inclusive Future

We hear from the winner of 2023's Student Choice Award as he shares insights into his award-winning approach.

Samed Karadal, winner of the Student Choice Award at the ACT Citizenship Teaching Awards 2023 shares insights into his award-winning approach, the impact of active citizenship, and a vision for an adaptive curriculum that prepares students for the challenges of tomorrow.

My journey into Citizenship education has been shaped by an academic background in Politics and International Relations, culminating in a PGCE from UCL’s Institute of Education Citizenship PGCE programme. Currently, I teach Politics, Citizenship, and Sociology at a secondary school in London. The inspiration behind my choice to teach Citizenship lies in the belief that it plays a vital role in nurturing informed and responsible citizens. In today’s educational landscape, Citizenship stands as a cornerstone, imparting essential skills and knowledge for active participation in a democratic society.

Validating the Impact of Active Citizenship

The honour of winning the Student Choice Award at ACT’s Citizenship Teaching awards ceremony was a brilliant affirmation of our work. This recognition underscored the effectiveness of my approach, particularly in promoting Active Citizenship. Through dynamic methods, including engaging debates as the school’s Debate Mate Coordinator and incorporating real-world examples, I aimed to instill a sense of civic responsibility. The acknowledgment not only boosted personal morale but also shed light on the pivotal role of Citizenship education, serving as inspiration for educators in the field.

Student Impact: Fostering Civic Participation

Encouraging students to actively engage in civic activities is at the heart of my teaching philosophy. Leading the implementation of Active Citizenship in Key Stage 3 schemes of learning, I’ve facilitated direct interaction between students and elected representatives, fostering a deeper understanding of democratic processes. The Current Affairs enrichment program further provides a platform for students to explore and discuss contemporary issues, motivating them to contribute positively to their school and community.

Challenges and Solutions: Overcoming Disengagement

Teaching and promoting Citizenship does face challenges, including student disengagement. To address this, I employ interactive teaching methods, real-world examples, and collaborative projects. Sharing successful strategies with colleagues creates a supportive environment, overcoming challenges and making Citizenship education more accessible and engaging.

Advice for Fellow Educators: Integrating Citizenship Principles

Fellow educators can enhance Citizenship education by integrating its principles across subjects. Collaborative projects, discussions, and real-world applications bridge disciplinary gaps, emphasizing the interconnectedness of Citizenship with broader knowledge. Fostering critical inquiry and open dialogue instills Citizenship values across diverse subjects.

Fostering critical inquiry and open dialogue instills Citizenship values across diverse subjects.

Looking Ahead: Envisioning an Adaptive Curriculum

The future of Citizenship education requires continuous adaptation to societal needs. I envision a curriculum that addresses global challenges, promotes inclusivity, and empowers students to become active, informed citizens. Emphasising digital literacy, global awareness, and diverse perspectives can pave the way for a generation committed to creating a just and equitable society.

ACT Citizenship Teaching Awards 2024: Nominations are open

The Citizenship Teaching Awards is an opportunity to acknowledge the fabulous work of individuals and organisations who have shown commitment to Citizenship education, and represent its core values. Do you know of someone who’s gone the extra mile to support students and provide effective Citizenship education?

Find out more about the awards and how to nominate below.

Apply here