Envisaging the school of the future is an opportune moment to challenge assumptions in relation to the construction of a curriculum appropriate for Wales in the twenty-first century. While the need to consolidate basic standards of literacy and numeracy is not in dispute, this article will argue that a broader view of education can be constructed around the requirements of educating for active citizenship. Despite the potential for dynamic change, diversity and improvement that models of education for citizenship are perceived to present, there are strongly influential factors that militate against such an inclusive concept within the Welsh educational context. These are discussed as dimensions that have to be balanced to meet the challenge of promoting citizenship as democratic participation. The article follows up Dewey's point that young people will not understand themselves as democratic citizens simply by learning about democracy, by discussing institutional and pedagogical approaches that can develop the competences and attitudes conducive to active citizenship. The maintenance of Welsh cultural and linguistic heritage needs to be balanced against acceptance of the diversity and fluidity of Welsh identities. The encouragement of a critically reflective approach and active learning can lead to greater civic and political participation. Accepting these challenges, educational establishments can become the stimulus for the development of an inclusive practice of citizenship appropriate and relevant for a twenty-first-century multicultural society.
How to Cite:
Turnbull J., (2003) “Educating for Citizenship in Wales: Challenges and Opportunities”, Wales Journal of Education 12(2).