Nurturing Citizenship in the Early Years

Christine Stephen and Andressa Maria Gadda, University of Stirling

This review was commissioned by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health and
was carried out by members of the Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection,
University of Stirling between May and July 2017. The purpose of this study was to
explore how citizenship can be fostered in the early years.
This review of the literature was commissioned to explore the meaning of citizenship in early childhood and seek out evidence about the ways in which early learning and childcare settings can support young children to develop the skills, dispositions, practices and understandings associated with citizenship.

The review finds that the movement to foster global citizenship acts on concerns about social justice and sustainable development and the recognition of the potential of children to be active agents of change. However, while educational programmes are available for use in schools there is little evidence offered for their efficacy.
"The paucity of attention in the literature to ways of fostering citizenship in the early
years stands in some contrast, in Scotland at least, to the centrality of the goal of
ensuring that children’s educational experiences ensure that they become
responsible citizens."

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