CSPE – Civic, Social & Political Education
The Importance of Civic, Social and Political Education
Civic, Social and Political Education aims to prepare students for active
participatory citizenship. This is achieved through comprehensive
exploration of the civic, social and political dimensions of their lives at a
time when pupils are developing from dependent children into indePendent
young adults. It should produce knowledgeable pupils who can explore,
analyse and evaluate, who are skilled and practised in moral and critical
appraisal, and capable of making decisions and judgements through a
reflective citizenship, based on human rights and social responsibilities.
Such pupils should be better prepared for living in a world where traditional
structures and values are being challenged, and where pupils are being
confronted with conflicting interests, impermanent structures and constant
Civic, Social and Political Education is important for each individual. It
enables pupils to use their minds well in a changing, complex society. It
helps them to understand the rights and responsibilities of the individual in
society, and the workings and nature of democracy. Attention to the
concepts, attituaes and values central to citizenship develops the moral
and critical faculties of the pupil. Civic, Social and Political Education
seeks to be affective and to equip pupils with the skills and understanding
of processes which enable them to see, decide, judge and act. Its
employment of active and co-operatively structured learning
methodologies enables and empowers the pupil to become an active and
participative young person.
The general aims and principles of Civic, Social and Political Education
concord wholly with those of the Junior Certificate programme. In
particular, the aims that the Junior Certificate programme should develop
the pupils’ personal and social confidence, contribute to their moral
development, and prepare them for the responsibilities of citizenship, are
central concerns of Civic, Social and Political Education.
http://www.curriculumonline.ie/getmedia/b4cf7fd4-46d0-4595-baa9-f6c38923c75f/JCSEC04_CSPE_Syllabus.pdf Click on this link to view the CSPE Syllabus in full.
http://www.curriculumonline.ie/getmedia/e8fa4202-3e32-414a-bde3-955012278365/JCSEC04_CSPE_Guidelines.pdf Click on this link to read the full CSPE Guidelines for Teachers.
In RCS, CSPE is allocated 1 period per week from 1st to third year.
The CSPE Action Project!
One, two, three… Action
The Action Project can seem daunting at first but it’s actually pretty straightforward once you take it in simple steps, as outlined below.
What is it? The Action Project is an active group assignment carried out by CSPE students as part of their CSPE examination. Then NCCA says that it allows students to go beyond traditional textbook learning to gain a deeper understanding of an issue on a “personal, local, national, or global level.”
What is the project about? Students choose an action related to one of the seven CSPE concepts. Actions can take many forms such as: inviting a guest speaker; going on an informative class trip; or organising a charity event. It is important that all students are involved as they will have to write about what they did.
How is the Action Project assessed? Once the action has been completed each student writes up a Report on their Action Project detailing their experience. The SEC sends out a standard booklet for students to fill out. These can change slightly from year to year. The download here is from 2004 and is purely for illustration/practise.
Completed booklets are submitted for external grading by each student in April. The report counts for 60% of each student’s Junior Certificate CSPE grade.
Carrying out an Action Project
Step 1: Decide on an issue
Step 2: Divide students into committees
Step 3: Plan what jobs each team will do
Step 4: Carry out the action (trip, visit etc.)
Step 5: Students reflect on their AP
Step 6: They complete a Report on the AP
Step 7: The Reports on the AP are sent for marking.
General Guidelines for completion of CSPE – REPORT on an ACTION PROJECT
In completing SECTION 1 – My Action Project – the student should:
State the Title of his/her Action Project
Identify the type/s of action that was/were undertaken as part of the Action Project
In completing SECTION 2 – Introduction – the student should:
(a) Identify the concept/s on which his/her Action Project was based
Explain how his/her Action Project was based on this concept/ these concepts
(b) Give one reason why he/she chose to do this Action Project
In completing SECTION 3 – Activities Undertaken – the student should:
(a) Identify the people communicated with in the course of his/her Action Project
Explain why one of these people was communicated with in completing his/her Action
(b) List the main tasks/activities undertaken as part of the Action Project and give
information on each task/activity
(c) Give a detailed account of one particular task/activity from the list in part (b) that he/she
carried out as part of the Action Project
(d) Describe how he/she applied two skills when carrying out the activity described in part (c)
In completing SECTION 4 – Summary of Information – the student should:
Give five facts discovered in undertaking his/her Action Project which helped him/her to
understand how the subject of the Action Project was related to one or more of the CSPE
In completing SECTION 5 – Reflections – the student should:
Give three statements describing how the experiences he/she had while doing the Action
Project helped him/her to think about the skills acquired or the CSPE concept(s)
For each of these statements, state the reasons why he/she thinks this way.