Education, Citizenship and Social Justice. Volume 10(3). pp 199-216.
This article explores the possible affect schooling has on pupils’ orientations to cultural and national identity in Wales. The Curriculum Cymreig is a distinctive feature of the national curriculum of Wales that has important ramifications regarding the enactment of citizenship education in Welsh schools. Under this initiative, schools in Wales are required to incorporate Welsh themes, when appropriate, throughout all dimensions of the pupils’ schooling experience in order to instil within pupils a sense of community and belonging. Two of the primary goals of the Curriculum Cymreig are (1) to help pupils appreciate the distinctive quality of living and learning in Wales and (2) to help pupils develop their own sense of Welshness. Less than 40% of the pupils surveyed in our research agreed that school helped them appreciate living in Wales or develop their own sense of Welshness. These results call into question the effectiveness of the Curriculum Cymreig in meeting its goals and its role for promoting Welshness as a component of citizenship education in Wales. Recommendations in this article are made for the reconceptualisation of the philosophical rationale undergirding citizenship education in Wales for the development of a more critically oriented and socially just curriculum.