'British Values' in Early Childhood Education

Wednesday 23 November
Room 201, St Alphege, King Alfred Campus, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester, Hampshire SO22 4NR

​The presentation argues that the 'education to core British values' included in the 2015 Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework (EYFS) is underpinned by a technical concept of citizenship education, where emphasis is placed upon citizenship as a learning outcome. The presentation criticizes the enduring influence of Marshall's (1950) tripartite model of citizenship education, based on 1) rights and responsibility; 2) political literacy; 3) community involvement, arguing that Marshall's model frames citizenship as the outcome of a learning process, monitored by the teachers as the 'knowledgeable other' (see also Parsons, 1955).

Based on an archaeological analysis of the EYFS and accessory legislation, the resonation critically examines the ideological and conceptual foundations of the hegemonic approach to education to British values in Early Years Education. The pedagogical models and construction of childhood underpinning the discourse on Education to British Values are identified and discussed, adding a historical perspective to the presentation.

The aim of the presentation is to promote reflection on the transformation of cooperation, freedom, responsibility into curricular learning outcomes, inviting a debate on its controversial relationships with democratic, and participatory pedagogies.

The argument advanced is that teacher-centred education to values should be challenged by a participatory approach where values are not notions to be learnt but are co-constructed by children and adults in everyday interactions (Citizenship-as-practice, Lawy & Biesta, 2006).

An event from the Centre for Early Years Education.

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