Tea and the Queen?Fundamental British Values, Education and Citizenship

Tea and the Queen?Fundamental British Values, Education and Citizenship

Carol Vincent

Print publication date: 2020

ISBN: 9781447351955

Publisher: Policy Press

Abstract

What are ‘British values’? Is a shared commitment to a particular set of values possible within a diverse nation? Is such a commitment necessary? If so, what should those values be and how do we pass them on to children? This book investigates the government’s recent requirement that teachers in English schools promote the ‘fundamental British values’ of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs. This requirement is part of national counter-extremism policies that now encompass schools and teachers. Drawing on lesson observations and interviews with teachers and other education professionals, in a range of primary and secondary schools, the book explores the different ways in which teachers have reacted to this requirement, and the wider social and political climate in which they do so. The discussion includes themes of nationalism, cohesion, belonging, multiculturalism, and citizenship, how teachers respond to diversity and how they teach values and education for future citizenship. The book investigates the contexts in which the teachers work, their priorities and the constraints upon them, as well as the marginalisation of citizenship education in favour of individual character education. The issues the book addresses around nation, cohesion, diversity and the role of schools in educating future citizens retain a fundamental importance within the current context of global population mobilities, and the growth of populism around the world.