Introduction

Politics and Society aims to develop the learner’s capacity to engage in reflective and active citizenship, informed by the insights and skills of social and political sciences.

The changing local, national and global environment presents many challenges and opportunities for young people. It also requires of them a range of skills, knowledge, values and attitudes so that they can achieve their goals in this environment. These include:

  • skills in critically assessing information and its sources and in gathering and processing information
  • intercultural skills to enable them to communicate and work with people from diverse backgrounds in employment and in other settings
  • an understanding of the processes of globalisation and individualisation and their opportunities and challenges
  • the imagination to think creatively and to propose new and alternative futures
  • a willingness to play an active role in their society
  • a disposition towards taking responsibility for the outcomes of their actions.

Drawing in particular on the skills of critical thinking and imagination and on the content knowledge of sociology, anthropology, political studies and philosophy, Politics and Society can, in collaboration with students’ learning outside school, in home and community contexts, provide an opportunity for students to develop the above skills, knowledge, values and attitudes. The distinctive analytical frame of reference of these subjects can also help to develop skills of critical analysis that enable people to make an informed, considered and effective contribution to their society. The content of these subjects can support the development of an understanding of equality, inequality and diversity in a range of areas of human life, including gender, ethnicity and social class. In this way, Politics and Society can contribute to the development of active and participatory citizenship through education. It can play a key role in informing people as to how social and political institutions at local, national, European, and global level operate, and of the importance of political and social institutions in shaping our society.

Through active and participatory learning and through the experience of learning in the wider community, Politics and Society can enable young people to develop the skills appropriate for active and thoughtful participation in the life of their communities.