Citizens of now

RSA Event / Video / Online

 -  | GMT Standard Time

Online and RSA House

  • Education
  • Schools
  • Skills
  • Communities
  • Youth engagement

Too many primary school pupils are missing out on the benefits that youth social action has to offer. How can we make sure opportunities to make a difference to the issues they care about are fairly shared among our youngest citizens? Join us for the launch of the ‘Citizens of Now: High-quality Social Action with Primary Schools’.

Participating in high-quality social action opportunities has a ‘double benefit’ for the young people involved and communities. Young people develop new skills that can support them throughout their lifetime and communities benefit from the positive actions of socially responsible and compassionate young citizens.

However, many primary age pupils, their schools, and their communities are missing out on the benefits youth social action has to offer. Less than half of pupils in the most deprived areas have an opportunity to take action on the social issues they care about compared to their more affluent peers. 

Engaging young people in social action earlier in life might offer the greatest benefits to young people’s sense of agency and developing a commitment to social action. In fact, research from the Jubilee Centre suggests young people who were first involved in social action before the age of 10 are more than twice as likely to have an ongoing commitment to social action - “habit of service”- than those who first participate after the age of 16.

Despite there being support for the benefits of social action and clear desire from young people to make a difference, there is very little research exploring what high-quality social action with primary-aged children should look like.  

Over the last three years, in partnership with the Pears #iwill Fund, the RSA has been exploring this issue through a process of action research with primary schools across the West Midlands.  

Join us to find out what we did and what we learnt along the way, and to hear from those involved in our action research. We will also bring together a range of academic perspectives, policy influencers and hear from young people who first became involved in social action before the crucial age of ten.

The event will be followed by an opportunity to meet the speakers, members of the research team, partners and RSA Fellows over drinks in the Benjamin Franklin Room.

The Pears #iwill Fund is a match-fund created by the Pears Foundation, the National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

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