Citizenship Education and narratives of pedagogy

Jessica Pykett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper argues that the concept of the 'pedagogical state' (Hunter 1994, Kaplan 2007) can be employed to better understand the cultural practices of governing through pedagogical means, and the evolving pedagogical relationship between state and citizen. The introduction of statutory Citizenship Education lessons in secondary schools in England in 2002 is used as a case study through which to develop the idea of the pedagogical state. It is argued that Citizenship Education makes manifest practices of citizen-formation, opens up a space in which teachers and pupils actively negotiate the tensions between freedom and government, and evokes a response which is often characterised by public scepticism. In this sense, it is inadequate to identify educational reforms and resultant citizen subjectivities as straightforwardly neoliberal without paying attention to the deeper and wider characteristics of pedagogical power.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-635
Number of pages15
JournalCitizenship Studies
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2011


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