The paradox of citizenship education in Early Years (and beyond). The case of Education to Fundamental British Values

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle


In 2014, the English National Curricula for primary and secondary schools were heavily criticized for failing to value pupils’ understanding of concepts such as rights, responsibilities and the changing nature of democracy. In 2015, the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework confirmed a teacher-centered approach, launching the idea of education to British Values. In the EYFS, values as cooperation, freedom, responsibility are presented as social skills to be learnt.
Through a critical review of the curricula developed following the method of document analysis, this contribution will challenge the pedagogical model where citizenship is to be transmitted from the adult to the child unidirectionally, towards the manufacture of citizens. The case for an educational recognition of citizenship as a practice embedded within the day-to-day reality of children as citizens in the present will be advanced.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-375
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Early Childhood Research
Issue number4
Early online date5 Jul 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jul 2019


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