Citizenship

Council for Education in World Citizenship (CEWC)

November 1998 – April 2000
Director of Curriculum Development

Since 1939 CEWC has

Europe 2000 plus!* provided opportunities for young people to debate international political issues and meet leaders of the day: many former students are now in senior positions in politics, business, education and the media
* published independent non-partisan information about world affairs, helping young people to form their own ideas
* produced education materials which have been greatly valued by teachers and students
* enabled young people to be active citizens

Drugs and International Development

La hoja de cocca no es droga
La hoja de coca no es droga

I picked up an established three-year project on drugs and international development part-funded by the European Commission and involving organisations and sixth-form students in Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Netherlands. Representatives of each group met for international conferences in Strasbourg and Brussels.

These were run as a variation on the existing model United Nations General Assembly events run in schools. It was a privilege and great fun working with young people given reign to expressing their views. I was also involved in production of a newsletter and other publications for teachers in schools and colleges.

Europe

Packs were updated or produced on the model UN events, the European dimension (Europe 2000 plus!) and one on global drugs issues called “High Seize: drugs and active global citizenship”.

The work of this organisation made an ideal connection with my gap year at the United Nations in New York and my interest in global issues. As for CEWC, having carried the torch for a long time, citizenship education eventually became a curriculum reality. The organisation, meanwhile, faded away.

Read a review of curriculum books >


Reflection

I ended up with a ninety-minute rail commute in each direction, but it was London that offered the next opportunity at this time. On one level, in this post I had a good mix of experience to contribute and it was in the global context, an interest of mine which had been semi-dormant for a number of years. It harked back to my gap year at the United Nations in New York.

Little did I know that I was walking into an organisational nightmare in the era of funding-disengagement for the many national educational bodies. The level of Trustee presumption and incompetence in removing the director was compounded by making an inappropriate new appointment of staggering collective stupidity. As individuals they were pleasant enough, and with sound motivation, but the corporate decision-making was serially inept for a variety of mostly personal reasons. However, I enjoyed the projects I worked on and learned about the micro-world of the educational NGOs. I was fortunate to leave before CEWC imploded and I moved to a similar, but better run, organisation. Unfortunately, it was on a similar trajectory of funding-withdrawal, although from a different government department.

No names.

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