The Citizens’ Curriculum, used in the United Kingdom, is an approach to adult learning provision for disadvantaged learners to ensure that everyone can improve their English, maths and other ‘life skills’ resulting in better progression, outcomes and aspirations – into and at work, in learning and in personal, family and community life. The model promotes locally-led learning, involves learners in shaping its content and interlinks basic skills in English (or English for Speakers of Other Languages), literacy and numeracy with digital, financial, health and civic capabilities.
The crucial element of this program is interlinking as many of the skills and capabilities as are relevant in the context, and in the light of the learners’ needs. The model, according to its flexibility in terms of content, can be adapted and used across neighbourhoods with different levels and types of needs, and in different delivery contexts. The participatory approach to curriculum design and delivery increases the engagement and motivation of learners.
The approach of the Citizens’ Curriculum puts learners at the centre and actively involves them in designing the content of the learning to meet their needs and interests. The flexibility of the model allows learning provisions to be tailored to reflect the local needs and circumstances. Interlinking of basic skills with wider skills and capabilities leads to positive outcomes for learners, including changes in their employability, improvements in their attitudes towards learning, increased social and civic engagement and improved self-efficacy as reported by evaluations of the pilots.