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Citizenship, life and vocational education

PESGB Bedford

Tuesday, 5 May 2015 from 17:30 to 19:00 (BST)

Citizenship, life and vocational education

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Richard Davies lecture 17 Tickets Ended Free  

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Lecture by Dr Richard Davies (University of Aberystwyth)

Hopkins (2013) sets out an argument for a renewal of citizenship education within the further and adult education sector. It is a passionate and wide ranging argument concerned with the development of democratic skills, changes to institutional structures, and the promotion of student-practitioners' understand of their role in the wider society. Amongst a range of theoretical perspectives Hopkins draws on Alasdair MacIntyre's account of social practices (MacIntyre, 1985). Whilst having reservations about MacIntyre's applicability to/in a modern liberal democracy, Hopkins nevertheless employs, at critical points, a broadly practices-based analysis to the development of citizenship education.


In this paper I critique and develop Hopkins' use of MacIntyre. I argue that Hopkins is too selective in his use of MacIntyre's thesis in 'After Virtue'; in particular in relation to three elements:

  1. 1.     MacIntyre offers a more sophisticated contribution to the liberal/communitarian debate, and especially is less tied to a traditionalist account of society than Hopkins claims.
  2. 2.     There is a social practices account of 'citizenship', which clarifies and enhances Hopkins' conclusions.
  3. 3.     There is a more detailed relationship to be explored between occupation role and social good.


In concluding I offer more finely grained account of a 'MacIntyre inspired' citizenship education for students on vocational courses/apprenticeships in further education.


Hopkins, N. (2013) Citizenship and Democracy in Further and Adult Education, Springer,

MacIntyre, A. (1985) After Virtue (2nd edition), Duckworth, London


Part of the PESGB Bedford seminar series 2015

Do you have questions about Citizenship, life and vocational education? Contact PESGB Bedford

When & Where

University of Bedfordshire
Polhill Avenue
Bedford, Room G1.16

Tuesday, 5 May 2015 from 17:30 to 19:00 (BST)

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PESGB Bedford

PESGB Bedford is the local branch (based at University of Bedfordshire, Bedford campus) of the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain.

We arrange lectures and seminars on the philosophy of education for academics, teachers and interested people in the community. Speakers are from various universities and other academic institutions.

Texts from the lectures are available via our Google Drive website (see weblink)

More details are available at the PESGB website: www.philosophy-of-education.org.

We are on Twitter: @pesgbbedford

Contact Branch Secretary, Dr Neil Hopkins (neil.hopkins@beds.ac.uk) for more information about branch activities.

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Citizenship, life and vocational education
Bedford, Room G1.16 Events Seminar Other

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