Green issues are a hot political topic

Bookmark and Share

More than three quarters of teachers (77%) think engaging schoolchildren in election manifesto topics will nurture a future generation of politically active citizens, according to new research commissioned by British Gas’ Generation Green schools programme.

The study marks the launch of a new set of interactive teaching resources designed to help teachers run mock elections in their classrooms.

The majority of teachers say that election topics need to be tackled as early as Key Stage Two to ensure that we see more young people at the ballot box in years to come. 59 per cent of teachers think that the optimum age for engaging with these issues at school is just ten years old or younger.

The environment topped the list of subjects most likely to spark pupils’ interest in politics, according to 81 per cent of teachers. Green issues were followed by crime (63%), education (53%) and health (36%).   

The research also reveals that lessons inspired by politics or current affairs are a win-win solution for teachers and pupils. More than half of teachers (52%) say that teaching lessons based on topical issues such as the general election is more stimulating than traditional lessons. A further quarter (27%) viewed both types of lessons as equally rewarding, and 94% agreed topical lessons would also be more or equally as interesting to pupils as normal classes.

Whilst there is a clear interest in taking the election into the classroom, lack of time and resources prove an obstacle. Two thirds (67%) of teachers say that there are not enough resources to incorporate topical issues and current affairs into lessons, and more than half (55%) say that whilst they would like to incorporate the election into their lessons, there has been no time in the school day to do so. 

The Generation Green schools programme has produced a range of interactive resources to help teachers take the general election, and children’s favourite manifesto topic - the environment - into the classroom to help pupils think about the issues and policies that would win their vote. Teachers can download mock election lesson plans and interactive resources from www.