A citizenship curriculum alone does not produce positive citizens. One of the purposes of schooling is to foster effective citizens. Children and young people need to have the opportunities to behave as citizens – not just be taught about what it is to be a citizen. RRR does this – but only when it is done properly. There is no 'RRR Lite’ version.
Therefore, more democratic and participatory approaches to teaching and learning are promoted, emphasising participation and rights-respecting teaching and learning styles. Consultation is included naturally and power is shared and devolved wherever workable. Adult behaviour models the principles and values of RRR. The programme inevitably loses meaning without these contributions and developments.
What does this mean for children?
When children see themselves as bearers of rights, and participants in a rights-respecting culture, it has a strong impact on their sense of identity and self-esteem. They increasingly see responsibility and democratic decision making as engaging challenges – as central aspects of active and inclusive citizenship. This is reflected in their attitudes to learning and progress.
Many children leaving primary schools will have become accustomed to increasingly reflective, courteous and inclusive social transactions in class. They will have an expectation that school is a place for consensus, dialogue and negotiation. Rights, they will tell you, inform our responsibilities to others, teachers included. That is a contract which has to be developed and reciprocated.