Citizenship in Secondary Education Project

  • Stuart Dunne

Student thesis: Master of Philosophy


This thesis is titled Citizenship in Secondary Education Project (CiSEP). CiSEP explores the shift in UK Government policy on citizenship education in schools in England, and focuses on the links between citizenship education and national identity construction. Three research papers completed as part of the Doctorate in Education programme are presented in CiSEP. Through a review of published research reported in Research Paper One I suggest that there is an overwhelming shift in the field to functional research at the expense of critical and socially critical approaches which has impacted on the direction and delivery of citizenship education. I take this further in Research Paper Two by completing a small scale empirical case study through two narrative interviews with a young Afghan immigrant male, where five key principles to citizenship education are presented. In Research Paper Three I establish the five key principles, present a plan for a research project, and report on pilot work where conceptual tools from Habermas are used to synthesise the narrative data. The thesis concludes through a significant critical evaluation by synthesizing the conceptual and ideological exchanges across the three research papers. I argue that the lack of a universal definition of citizenship is confusing and contributes to poor understandings of citizenship education and a limited sense of national identity. This research encourages close attention be paid to the discrepancy between the purpose of citizenship education and how it is experienced. CiSEP raises questions about the current systems set up for the delivery of citizenship education in secondary schools. Therefore, this research lays strong foundations for further studies into citizenship, citizenship education and national identity construction.
Date of Award31 Dec 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorCarlo Raffo (Supervisor) & Helen Gunter (Supervisor)


  • Cosmopolitanism
  • Youth Democracy,
  • Narrative Inquiry
  • National Identity,
  • Youth Empowerment,
  • Participation
  • Student Councils,
  • School Democracy,
  • Citizenship Curriculum,
  • Citizenship Education,
  • Schools Citizenship,

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