CSPE stands for Civic, Social and Political Education. It aims
to prepare students to become active citizens who can participate in society
in a meaningful way. The basic human rights of a citizen are explored
in this course. However, all rights carry responsibilities to other people
and the environment in which we live. Students are made aware of these
CSPE is concerned with issues at a personal level (how am I affected as
an individual), at local level (how is my community affected), at national
level (my country) and at a global level (the world in which we live).
Student Xpress carries a four page supplement in its newspaper
every month that brings you through a particular issue in the world.
|| East Timor
1999 was the first free and bright Christmas after more than 450 years
of darkness under Portuguese colonisation and 24 years under illegal
occupation by Indonesia. This is a wonderful story telling of an oppressed
people's struggle for independence. An Irish bus driver, Tom Hyland,
played an enormous role in this conflict.
Fidel Castro and Che Guevara took part in a revolution which toppled
the Batista government. Relations with the USA soured giving rise
to an embargo prohibiting trade with Cuba. An incident called the
Cuban Missile Crisis ensued which brought the world to the brink of
a nuclear war. The plight of Elian Gonzalez, a six year-old Cuban
boy, brought the whole situation back to the attention of the world
|| Global Warming
We are in danger of using up very valuable resources that have built
up over millions of years and leaving nothing for future generations.
Some of the most important environmental issues of today are those
associated with a changing climate. Estimates, based on measured temperatures
worldwide, indicate that global average temperature has risen by 0.5
degrees Celcius in the last one hundred years. One of the strongest
indicators of global warming is the breaking off of huge icebergs
from the polar caps.
|| Africa I
In the first set of articles on Africa, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe are
featured. Ethiopia has been at war with neighbours Eritrea. Recently
a peace agreement has been brokered bringing an uneasy peace. Both
countries are suffering from the ravages of famine. Zimbabwe is in
the midst of a land war where many white-owned farms are being seized.
A recent election has seen the opposition movement making great inroads
to Mugabe's hold on power.
Argentina, the second-largest country in South America, is over 2,000
miles in length, and about one-third the size of the U.S. It is a
country which has had a colourful political past ranging from dictatorships
to popular uprising. The greatest political icon of all was Evita,
wife of Juan Peron. Peronists have been in power in Argentina on many
occasions. Football is a national passion with Diego Maradona its
|| The Courts
The Court System and our Constitution, Bunreacht na hEireann, is examined.
A recent case history is chosen to illustrate the workings of the
courts and constitution. The case chosen is called the O'Flaherty
affair. It started off with a tragic car accident and ended up with
the resignation of two judges.
|| The American Presidency
Election 2000 for the American Presidency was between George W. Bush
(Republican) and Al Gore (Democrat). However, due to some amazing
complications, it took a long, long time for the winner to be announced.
Read the story of Election 2000.
|| The ASTI Strike
The teachers strike caused a huge amount of anguish amongst all elements
of the school community: pupils, parents and teachers. Student
Xpress is an idea developed by a number
of secondary school teachers who wished to develop a medium for young
people to express their views on a wide range of subjects. These teachers
express their point of view about the teachers dispute.
||Attack on America
It is said that everyone remembers where they were when they heard
the news that John F. Kennedy, the President of the United States,
was assassinated in November 1963. A similar catastrophic event took
place in America on the 11 September 2001.
The association representing CSPE teachers have a very useful website which
includes ideas for action projects. Some of the action projects include:
Animal Welfare in North Tipperary by Donna Ryan
The Student Council by Brendan O'Regan
Anti-Litter Awareness in Newbridge by Stephanie Conlan
A Community Project in Carnew by Linda Dunne
Mapping Our Community in Bunclody by Mary McIvor
Videoconferencing in Waterford by Bill Doherty
Recycling Waste in Castlecomer by Michael Stokes
An Interesting Visitor by Michael Domoney
Killinarden Park Project by Linda Neary
Going Bananas in Wexford by Mary Waddell
Go to CSPE teachers website