Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE) contributes to building the skills students need to contribute positively to a democratic society and to promote sustainable living. It gives them an understanding of social, economic and political structures at local, national and global levels and the opportunity to imagine and create ways in which they can make a difference to the lives of individuals and communities.
CSPE builds on related learning experiences in primary education. It helps students to question, critique and evaluate what is happening in the world; provides students with an understanding of their human rights and social responsibilities; prompts students to consider how to create a more sustainable future for all; fosters an awareness of what it means to live responsibly in a democracy; and most importantly, it places active reflective citizenship at the centre of the learning process by providing students with the opportunity to take action and influence change around local, national and global issues.
CSPE is a core pillar of the Wellbeing programme within junior cycle as it enables students to grow in awareness of how their wellbeing is connected to the wellbeing of others, locally and globally. It also develops students’ sense of responsibility for the wellbeing of others and provides opportunities for students to gain confidence, resilience and a sense of agency as they participate in actions and connect with a wider community working to help build a more equal, just and sustainable future.
The short course in CSPE aims to inform, inspire, empower and enable young people to participate as active citizens in contemporary society at local, national and global levels, based on an understanding of human rights and social responsibilities.
This junior cycle short course in CSPE focuses on supporting students in becoming active citizens through their learning in three strands: Rights and Responsibilities, Global Citizenship, and Exploring Democracy.
Strand 1: Rights and Responsibilities
- In this strand, students learn what it means to live with rights and responsibilities and examine the main human rights instruments that protect people’s rights. This is a foundation strand.
Strand 2: Global Citizenship
- In this strand, students explore issues of poverty, inequality and sustainable development and look at ways to bring about effective change.
Strand 3: Exploring Democracy
- This strand enables students to examine how democracy works and the role of the media in a democracy.
The CSPE short course has been designed for approximately 100 hours of student engagement.