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Active Citizenship

Enabling young people to take part in democracy through active citizenship

What is Active Citizenship?

Democratic societies are more likely to thrive when there is an active and engaged citizenry who contribute positively to political and public life as voters, community members and informed, active citizens.

Active citizenship is a pedagogical approach to give pupils a practical experience of democratic action and community involvement.  It involves pupils in learning how to take part with others in activities designed to make a positive difference to the world around them. This might involve taking action on a local issue like homelessness or a global issue such as climate change.

Active citizenship involves pupils in:

  • Research of an issue they are concerned about or interested in
  • Planning and undertaking a course of action designed to address the issue and make a positive different, often involving collaboration with others and working as a team
  • Reflecting, evaluating and sharing the impact to highlight the issue to others.

Active citizenship is also a requirement of the Citizenship National Curriculum and GCSE Citizenship Studies.

“The best Citizenship education empowers children and enables them to really understand and experience what it means to be an active citizen who is prepared to speak out, challenge inequality and make a positive difference in their communities and the wider world”

Liz Moorse Chief Executive, ACT

“Active Citizenship leads to positive outcomes, which taken together build students’ knowledge, skills and sense of agency”

Yaqub Halil Researcher