An Overview of C.S.P.E.
Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE) is a Junior Certificate course in active citizenship based on human rights and social responsibilities. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child are the two key documents which underpin this course.
CSPE has been part of the Junior Certificate core curriculum in all post-primary schools since September 1997. It is a short course and should be timetabled for approximately 70 hours over the three years of the junior cycle, which typically works out at one 40-minute class period per week.
Civic, Social and Political Education aims to develop active citizens with:
- A sense of belonging. Students will only choose to become active participants in their communities if they feel a sense of attachment to them. Social inclusion and matters of identity and values are addressed in CSPE. These are the affective dimensions of active citizenship.
- A capacity to gain access to information andstructures relating to the society in which they live.Students need a basis of information and knowledge upon which they can consider action, and do so with confidence. This is the cognitive dimension of active citizenship.
- An ability and confidence to participate indemocratic society. Practising citizenship is about taking meaningful action of some kind. To achieve this, the syllabus states that over the three-year duration of the course in Civic, Social and Political Education students should undertake at least two class/group/individual action projects. This is thepragmatic dimension of active citizenship.
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