PSA urge DfE to reconsider lack of female thinkers in draft subject content for A-level Politics
The Political Studies Association (PSA) welcome the inclusion of “Political ideas” as a compulsory topic within the DfE’s draft AS and A-level Politics subject content. Political ideology is a key foundation to the wider understanding of politics and, as such, it is a positive development that the DfE proposes it should no longer be an optional area of study but an integral part of A-level study.
It is of considerable concern, however, that the proposed “Political ideas” topic is extremely narrow in scope. Whilst the PSA understand that there is a limit to how much new content can be put into the redrafted AS and A-level core curriculum, the Association is concerned about the exclusion of ‘feminism’ and the lack of female thinkers across the entire draft curriculum.
The PSA believe that the selection of key thinkers for each of the ideologies listed should be more representative of gender, ethnic diversity and the latest academic thinking. With just one female thinker named across the whole curriculum, Mary Wollstonecraft, the voices of the many women who have made important interventions in political debate since the end of the eighteenth century - Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir, Betty Friedan, and Kate Millet to name just a few - are not included. This is something that the Association urge the DfE to reconsider.
The Political Studies Association will be making a formal submission to the DfE’s consultation on the draft Politics AS and A-level Politics subject content once it has completed its own consultation process with its members.
Helena Djurkovic, CEO of the Political Studies Association, said:
“The A-level Politics curriculum must provide students with a firm grounding in all the key concepts that shape an academic understanding of the distribution and exercise of power. Topics such as feminism cannot, therefore, be excluded.”
Professor Matthew Flinders, Chair of the Political Studies Association, said:
“The Association is committed to equality and diversity in both academic and practical terms. It is also committed to academic excellence and thus appeals to the DfE to ensure that the new A-level curriculum provides young people with the necessary tools to fully understand the global and national political landscape and become full and active citizens.”
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