Community Cohesion and the Prevention of Violent Extremism

The DCSF commissioned the Council for Subject Associations (CfSA) to identify a range of resources for teachers to increase their confidence, knowledge and understanding of community cohesion and the prevention of violent extremism.

CfSA worked with eleven subject associations, including the GA, to produce sets of subject-specific resources covering the shared themes of: Conflict, Community, Culture, Deprivation, Extremism, Faith, Identity, Migration, Relationships and Segregation.

The resources generally focus on contentious issues which are important across the curriculum but often avoided in the classroom.

Resource Brief Description Key Stage
GTIP Think Piece - Children's Worlds This resource is designed to help teachers understand their students' experiences of the world in order to develop students' understanding of how other children live. There are detailed learning activities for teachers delivered in the context of trainee teachers but relevant and useful to anyone wanting to do further thinking on this topic. Several practical activities are suggested that introduce concepts such as Children's Rights and can be easily adapted for classroom use.

Further Information
Refugee Boy: Geography, inclusion and inequality This journal article focuses on a school-based project based around the book Refugee Boy by Benjamin Zephaniah (2001). The resource links a number of subjects and provides planning tips and ideas for learning activities but most important of all it emphasises the need to evaluate strategies and to find ways of dealing with difficult issues such as community cohesion, to suit the particular school and community that each teacher works within.

Further Information
Making Diversity Real In Teaching The focus of this article is on using the pupils themselves as a key resource, drawing on them and their families, ideas and experiences and sharing those in the classroom. Through this sharing process, the children come to understand and value the contributions of other children who have a contrasting background whether by virtue of their ethnicity, their culture, their religion or their socio-economic background.

Further Information
GTIP Think Piece - Teaching about Diversity This Think Piece explores the issues surrounding the teaching of diversity in geography, noting that this is one of the most difficult areas for new geography teachers to engage with. Although designed for teacher professional development, this resource contains a variety of activities and suggested further reading for those teachers wanting to develop a deeper understanding of this topic, and there is a great deal of scope for adapting the suggested activities into classroom use.

Further Information
How Am I Different? This Teachers TV video is a documentary series giving a voice to children living in challenging circumstances. It will provide a solid foundation for schools to help young people to learn to understand others, value diversity whilst also promoting shared values, promote awareness of human rights and to apply and defend them. This resource is also an excellent platform to kick-start a variety of discussions and group activities, and follow-up work could be planned to meet the needs of individuals.

Further Information
Global Dimension - Learning Activities The main aim of this global dimension resource is to show how the Geography Key Stage 3 Programme of Study can be transformed to support the work of a school in promoting community cohesion. In the sense that this resource is a strong advocate of 'education for conversation', it has a potential role for teachers wishing to develop classroom practice and broader work across the whole school, which supports both community cohesion and the prevention of violent extremism.

Further Information
Jubilee Debt Campaign This website and a range of materials within it can be used as stimulus for teachers to raise awareness of and kick-start conversations about debt / poverty / socio-economic inequality, and how some of the global dimensions contained in this resource can be put in a local context. Students are encouraged to think about how they can make changes in their local / national / global community to improve conditions for all members of these communities, and explore ways they can make their voice heard through 'active responsible citizenship'.

Further Information
GTIP Think Piece - Values & Controversial Issues We are frequently confronted with controversy in various forms and Geography as a subject can help teachers and pupils navigate such complex and sometimes unsettling issues and dilemmas. This resource explores the characteristics of more careful teaching, as opposed to 'morally careless' teaching in relation to the teaching and learning of Geography and dealing with controversial issues, and explores a range of ideas and activities that can help developing teachers think through their practice.

Further Information

(25.03.10) The Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA) has just published a new curriculum planning guide on community cohesion for schools in England. Community Cohesion in Action follows on from two previous documents in the series, The Global Dimension in Action and Sustainable Development in Action. It shows how the curriculum can play a key part in promoting community cohesion within a school, its local community and the wider world.

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1 Comment

Angus Willson

Angus Willson GA Member

The 'Community Cohesion in Action ' (QCDA, 2010) is available from the GA NING (registration and login required) here

The SCSIG has also stored some key archived documentation on global learning and sustainabiity here

Angus Willson, Chair
Sustainability and Citizenship Special Interest Group

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