Teaching citizenship: Work and the economy
Teaching citizenship: Work and the economy

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Teaching citizenship: Work and the economy

2 Citizenship in the English National Curriculum

Key stage 3 of the Citizenship National Curriculum document requires pupils to – among other things – understand the legal and human rights and responsibilities underpinning society, and to appreciate the economic implications of the world as a global community, and the role of the European Union and the United Nations in fostering this.

In addition, the same document charges Key stage 4 citizenship teaching to deal with how the economy functions (including the role of business and financial services), the rights and responsibilities of consumers, employers and employees, and the wider issues and challenges associated with growing global interdependence. These are exactly the themes concentrated on in this module. Although not every aspect of this agenda can be dealt with here, key elements of it are tackled by focusing on the specific nature of work and jobs and the way businesses are run.

Since economic activity is so internationalised, we begin with businesses in the global context. The issue of global corporate citizenship involves companies – or some companies – making a claim to be ‘citizens’ because of what they do. It is a form of active citizenship.

Activity 1

Despite the widespread and growing use of the phrase ‘global corporate citizenship’, it remains ill defined. Given the quote that opened this course, what might it involve? As a teacher, you could get a class to think critically about this in more detail.

The document Defining global corporate citizenship gives two definitions to begin with.

Click ‘view document’ below to download Defining global corporate citizenship

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