With the recent general election still being discussed across every media outlet, politics is a subject that is certainly on everyone’s mind. Even though politics can be described by children (and some adults) as boring and confusing, it is a fundamental part of the British society we live in. Surely this means we all should have a basic understanding? Here are three reasons why we think politics should be encouraged to be taught in schools.
1. Children are the future
If one thing is certain it’s that politics aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. With our children being the generation of tomorrow, it’s important that they are taught to understand the political system and it’s history, as well as being encouraged to vote and have their say. Without this basic knowledge there is a huge danger of the future generation being disengaged and when they are old enough to vote, elect based on personality or from what they see/read on TV and social media.
2. It can make children realise they have a voice
Encouraging children to learn about politics can be made interesting and have long-term benefits. Having conversations, debates and learning about controversial issues and how it effects the world they live in, can be a great way to help children form opinions and learn about their role in society as they grow older. It’s important for them to know that they have a voice and in the future will be able to make a difference. Explaining the power of their voice will also help children to feel confident in expressing themselves and encourage free thinking. Some schools have even made a head start on this and have held mock elections to coincide with the recent vote.
3. It broadens children’s knowledge
All parents want their children to be knowledgeable and informed. As much as young people need to know that they have the right to vote, with that also comes the responsibility of understanding why they would vote for someone. Learning about how society works, the government and politics may sound dull to kids, but having this knowledge should be seen as positive.
We understand that teaching your children about elections and voting isn’t going to be a priority for all parents. However for those of you who are interested- a great place to start is by sparking an interest. The Election by Eleanor Levenson is beautifully illustrated book, which provides a child friendly version of what an election is, and how voting works. Another simple way to do this is by relating politics to things that matter to them such as school, exams, their local park or the library. This should inspire and motivate children to want to be an active part of life and learn more about it. As the saying goes knowledge is power.