CLASS AND SCHOOL DECISION MAKING
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CLASS AND SCHOOL DECISION MAKING
Teacher resources for stage 2 (year 3&4) subject matter: 'class and school decision making' in the HSIE K-6 NSW Syllabus. These resources are suitable for teaching the outcome: SSS2.8: Investigates rights, responsibilities and decision-making processes in the school and community, and demonstrates how participation can contribute to the quality of their school and community life.
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WORKING WITH ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES- SHARED DECISION MAKING.

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WHAT'S IN THIS RESOURCE?

 

This resource provides educators with advice on how to seek support in developing Aboriginal perspectives in K-6 syllabuses, “strategies for starting the consultation, and guidance in developing working relationships with Aboriginal communities.” (BOS NSW, 2008, p.3). By providing teachers and schools with the appropriate protocols for community consultation, it hopes that they will create leading partnerships with Aboriginal communities in which aboriginal people feel welcome and valued in their local school.

 

TEACHING IDEA:

 

Implementation of Aboriginal content and perspectives is necessary in all key learning areas of the K-6 Syllabus. “Aboriginal people alone possess the necessary knowledge, skills and experiences to give authenticity to Aboriginal studies and perspectives in schools” (BOS NSW, 2008, p.2), so the best way for students to learn about Aboriginal History and culture is to listen to the experience of Aboriginal people.

 

In order to further the shared decision-making process/partnership that schools should have with their local Aboriginal community (or Aboriginal person from a local community organisation if there is no identifiable community in the immediate vicinity), in creating a curriculum with appropriate meaningful Aboriginal content and perspective, local Aboriginal people should be invited to share their insights with students. For example, when teaching the syllabus outcome ‘CCS2.2: Time and Change’, an Indigenous Australian could share stories, identifying customs, practices and traditions of their community.

 

Upon reflecting on their experience with the speaker, students could look at how involving the local Aboriginal community in their learning of Aboriginal people, contributed to the quality of their learning (which is applicable to outcome SSS2.8 –‘investigates decision-making processes in the school and community…can contribute to the quality of their school and community life’.) The teacher could share her process/the schools process of consulting with local Aboriginal communities in the creation of their curriculum and other aspects of school life, and the protocols that were involved e.g. the respect involved, deciding upon a venue where Aboriginal people feel most comfortable, the recognition given to the speaker for their time etc.

 

ASSESSMENT TASK/LITERACY STRATEGY:

 

 

As “there is not just one view in communities” (BOS NSW, 2008, p.12) but lots of views that are all valid, after hearing from one local Aboriginal speaker on their insight of customs, practices and traditions of their community, in groups, students could do a research assignment on the insights of other local Aboriginal community members. The teacher could set up an interview day at a local community centre (following the protocols for consultation and having informed students of appropriate behaviour) for students to talk with others Aboriginals. Students could be assessed on their reporting, class presentation of their information, and their teamwork.

 

Interviewing and reporting is a great literacy strategy as it looks at both oral and written literacy.

 

PEDAGOGY: 

 

To sum up, “Aboriginal people are the owners and custodians of their knowledge and culture. They have the right to be consulted when aspects of Aboriginal history and culture are being incorporated into the school curriculum.” (BOS NSW, 2008, p.2)

 

REFERENCES: 

 

Aboriginal Services Branch. (2009). Working With Aboriginal People and Communities – A Practice Resource. Retrieved April 11, 2013, from http://www.community.nsw.gov.au/docswr/_assets/main/documents/working_with_aboriginal.pdf

 

Board of Studies NSW. (2008). Working With Aboriginal Communities: A guide to community consultation and protocols. Retrieved April 11, 2013, from http://ab-ed.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/files/working-with-aboriginal-communities.pdf

 

 

 

 

EVALUATION OF THE ABOVE RESOURCE (Scoop it) USING SELECTION CRITERIA:

 

AUTHENTICITY: 

 

Resource published in 2001 (post 1980)

 

The resource does not provide captions for photographs identifying the names/location of the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander persons. However it does mention in the ‘acknowledgement’ section that “Peta Hill, who took the photographs throughout this book, is gratefully acknowledged.” (BOS NSW, 2008)

 

Does not ignore the diversity/complexity amongst Indigenous Australians by informing the reader that “aboriginal peoples throughout Australia have very diverse and complex histories and cultures.” (BOS NSW, 2008, p.3)

 

BALANCED NATURE OF REPRESENTATION:

 

No stereotyping/racist connotations.

 

The resource does not make any mention of Torres Strait Islander people, however “as Aboriginal people are the original inhabitants of NSW; and as the NSW Government only has a specific charter of service to the people of NSW” (Aboriginal Services Branch, 2009) the document only refers to Aboriginal people.

 

ABORIGINAL AND/OR TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PARTICIPATION+ ACCURACY AND SUPPORT: 

 

The resource was prepared by the Board of Studies NSW, with the support of Cindy Berwick, a descendent of the Wiradjuri nation (in Central NSW), and president of the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group(AECG). It further mentions that the advice given “is based on extensive consultation with the NSW AECG Inc. at state, regional and local levels, Aboriginal educators in all education sectors and a range of Aboriginal community organisations (and) as such, the advice reflects widely accepted protocols across New South Wales.” (BOS NSW, 2008, p.3)

 

It also lists a number of Indigenous Australians under the acknowledgment section for sharing their “experience and insight.” (BOS NSW, 2008)It also acknowledges that ‘Indigenous peoples from the Torres Strait Islands should be consulted if they are part of the local community.” (BOS NSW, 2008)

 

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Children Decide: Power, Participation and Purpose in the Primary Classroom

Children Decide: Power, Participation and Purpose in the Primary Classroom | CLASS AND SCHOOL DECISION MAKING | Scoop.it
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WHAT'S IN THIS RESOURCE? 

 

‘Children Decide: Power, Participation and Purpose in the Primary Classroom’ is a guide for teachers to help them develop a more collaborative approach to making decisions that affect children’s lives in primary schools. The guide provides activities and findings from the  ‘Children Decide’ project that was carried out in a number of primary schools in the UK, that involved students conducting their own action research on decision making, including those on effective learning and teaching.

 

NUMERACY STRATEGY: 

 

“If students perceived the classroom as a place where they could make decisions, then they were more likely to accept responsibility for their academic successes or failures.” (McElreath. D, 1989, p.26) In order to create a shared responsibility for classroom decision making and thus learning, students could create a matrix ranking of changes students would like to see in the classroom/school e.g. change of layout in room, to have more time in computer lab, to decide who to sit next to etc, and the factors of the proposed decision e.g. expense, organisation, number of people that like it, good for learning, good for teachers etc. Students can tally up responses and prioritise the possible changes and see which decisions are worth following up.

 

TEACHING IDEA:

 

Once students had prioritised the possible changes, they could create action plans on how to implement them. The students work in groups to think about the practical implications of introducing the changes. E.g. Students proposing to change the rule about not being able to choose who you sit next to, and listing implications if students were to sit next to their friends e.g. the possible learning disruptions. Students could then make propositions e.g. a week trial in which they decide, and if they are sensible and work well they can remain in those seats, with the teacher reviewing the decision every few weeks.

 

ASSESSMENT TASK: 

 

Students could be assessed on their involvement in their assigned group (cooperation, listening skills, considering other people’s views, managing conflict etc) as well as their decision-making skills (looking at their propositions etc).

 

 

REFERENCES: 

 

McElreath, D. (1989) A Primary School Curriculum To Enhance Self-Concept, Decision-Making, and Locus of Control. (Master’s thesis). University of North Florida. Retrieved 11 April, 2013, from  http://digitalcommons.unf.edu/cgi/
viewcontent.cgi?article=1009&context=etd

 

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Discovery Democracy Units

Discovery Democracy Units | CLASS AND SCHOOL DECISION MAKING | Scoop.it
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WHAT'S ON THIS SITE?

 

‘Discovery Democracy Units’ website is filled with teacher resources (including modified lessons for ESL students) that encourage students to develop their skills, values and attitudes, that enable them to have effective, informed and reflective participation in political processes and civic life.

 

TEACHING IDEA: 

 

One section of the site (as linked above) provides teachers with activities revolving around the focus question: ‘Why do community groups exist?’ In ‘Activity 5’ for example, the students form smaller groups and decide on a possible class project they can undertake in the school. Each group then presents their argument on what idea they believe the class should undertake and why. The class then votes to decide using a ‘majority rules’ model to make the decision. The teacher could expand upon this, further exploring the process of decision-making by having the students actively follow through with the class project they decide upon. Students could look at how one goes about selecting leaders/committee members (nominating, voting, leadership roles etc), by exploring the organisation of existing community groups, which could be then applied to the creation of their own ‘management committee’. 

 

ASSESSMENT TASK: 

 

The teacher could assess students over the period of the class project, by having student’s reflect/give feedback on their experience in their journals. Noting: How they felt about participating; how they contributed to the outcome of the project; what their responsibilities of being a group member/committee member where; what they would do differently next time etc. Along with the journal teachers should be noting down (and providing feedback) throughout the course of the task, students ability to participate in groups respectfully – taking turns to speak, encouraging others, resolving issues as well as how they communicate in their groups e.g. the explaining of ideas, documenting of notes etc.

 

LINKS TO LITERACY AND NUMERACY:

 

The Journal assessment (above) provides for a great literacy link, however there are many other ways. Students could analyse different ways to make decisions through a table identifying the ‘pluses’ and ‘minuses’ (e.g. http://www1.curriculum.edu.au/ddunits/downloads/pdf/mp4_hand9.pdf). They could write letters to their principle/local council (depending upon the project they decide on), create posters – the list is endless. In terms of linking with numeracy, it depends on the project the students choose. If they were to pick ‘Improve school recycling’, they could use scales to weigh/or simply count, the amount of recyclable items that gets placed in the garbage (non-recyclable) bins over a weekly period, to use for a before and after project comparison.

 

LINK TO PEDAGOGY: 

 

Summed up beautifully: “Providing the opportunity for decision making to students creates an environment that enhances the self- concept through feelings of success. If students receive school experiences that stimulate their self- concept and decision making skills, then students will feel they have more control over events in their lives which, in turn, could interact positively with their efforts in school.” (McElreath. D, 1989, p.7)

 

 

 

REFERENCES: 

McElreath, D. (1989) A Primary School Curriculum To Enhance Self-Concept, Decision-Making, and Locus of Control. (Master’s thesis). University of North Florida. Retrieved 11 April, 2013, from  http://digitalcommons.unf.edu/cgi/
viewcontent.cgi?article=1009&context=etd

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DEMOCRATIC DECISION MAKING IN PRIMARY SCHOOL

DEMOCRATIC DECISION MAKING IN PRIMARY SCHOOL | CLASS AND SCHOOL DECISION MAKING | Scoop.it
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ABOUT THIS RESOURCE: 

 

‘Democratic Decision Making in Primary School’ is a Unit based on a case study conducted at Hambeldon Primary School (in Queensland), that involved “students, teachers, parents and community members” being part of a system of autonomous committees, a system that “empower(ed) school community members to resolve issues, and employ creative decisions for the majority of the school and education functions.” (“Unit 6”, 2001, p.2) This resource was created for teachers/administrators wanting to encourage the implementation of democratic processes within the school environment.

 

TEACHING IDEA AND ASSESSMENT TASK: 

 

Based on the Hambeldon’s belief that education “is about increasing people’s ability to participate successfully and productively in their society’s

activities in the context of global interdependence” (“Unit 6”, 2001, p.2), preparing students for Student Representative Council (SRC), regardless whether they want to run to be their class representative, is a great way to teach students the skills necessary to be a ‘good citizen’.  SRC preparation can include teaching compassion, listening skills, forward thinking, organisation skills, teamwork, public speaking etc.

 

A series of lessons of public speaking can help students gain more confidence, giving them the ability to talk for themselves as well as listen to others (Dugdale, S., 2006), which is important not just for SRC, but an essential life skill.

 

Teachers, after exploring the format of speech giving (e.g. eye contact), and perhaps modelling their own speech, could write a statement on the board and have students prepare and give speeches, choosing to argue affirmative or negative. This will also prepare students for the need to look at both the impacts (negatives and positives) in decision making, which is what occurs in SRC meetings.

 

Once student representatives have been selected, the role of students as active citizens should not cease. Class meetings should be held to ensure participation by all students, in the decision-making processes that occur in school. Through which students learn that “participation is a co-operative process in which people work together to promote the individual and collective welfare.” (“Unit 6”, 2001, p.2)

 

The student’s speech giving could be assessed, and the student given feedback on their delivery (eye contact, volume etc), points raised, language used etc.

 

LITERACY STRATEGY:

 

According to the Australian curriculum, “Literacy refers to a repertoire of skills that enable students to…produce a range of texts and communicate confidently at school and to become competent individuals and effective community members…and citizens.” (ACT GET, 2012, p.2) Public speaking is a great literacy strategy as it covers both talking and listening skills.

                  

REFERENCES:

 

ACT Government Education and Training. (2012). Literacy and Numeracy Strategy Directions 2012–2013. Retrieved April 11, 2013, from http://www.det.act.gov.au/teaching_and_learning/literacy_and_numeracy

 

Dugdale, S. (2006). Tell me – the Benefits of Public Speaking. Retrieved April 11, 2013, from http://www.write-out-loud.com/benefits-of-public-speaking.html

 

Unit 6: Democratic Decision Making in Primary School. (2001). Retrieved April 11, 2013, from https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:QS6DEAvr4SwJ:www.afssse.asn.au/democracy/case_studies/proj00_01/qld/unit_6.pdf+&hl=en&gl=au&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEEShav94ZIUtapS2htT8qcaBGYn22dUMBDlb_QZrId7rJcyAYBCeJLd-6mgCtcnfNqxf0WViUkNGwuQGt7WfeJPwFJhuohW6WYbeU1lWXJFL5yh3-QYKUjJLO37KYCyiKkSbhaY8K&sig=AHIEtbQN38S2vzaqAXPq_PqyABT_IYUDEA

 

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We Live Here Too!

We Live Here Too! | CLASS AND SCHOOL DECISION MAKING | Scoop.it
See the world through a child's eyes with these books for character education. Using real-life experiences, advice columnists Frank B. Wi...
talia.hynek's insight:

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE RESOURCE: 

BOOK SUMMARY: 

 

‘We live here too” written by Nancy Loewen, is an engaging book structured in the form of letters from kids sent to advice columnists (Frank and Tina). The letters are real-life examples of situations that students may face daily, and the responses from the advice columnist provide suggestions for positive ways to handle them.

 

This book is great for use within a HSIE unit on citizenship and decision making that incorporates a global perspective, as it allows students to reflect upon what it means to be part of a community (both on a local and global scale), and the roles and responsibilities that are involved with such labels. The book teaches students the “interdependence of relationships…(and the) mutual dependence between all life forms within and across cultures, environments and social systems” (AusAID, 2008, p.8).

 

TEACHING IDEA:

 

The books cover is a great starting point to discuss the topics of citizenship, global education, and the impact of decision making on others. The teacher could ask students to suggest what the book is going to be about through the title and illustration (i.e. thinking of others when we make decisions).

 

The book could then be read aloud to students, with the teacher prompting questions about the suggestions made by the advice columnist in response to the student’s problems. E.g. the teacher could ask students to propose other ways the issues could be solved (i.e. what decisions does the child have in each particular circumstance, and how do their decisions impact other people). Students could expand on this in smaller groups, each group given one letter from the book. Students could them come together and discuss possible consequences for the decisions made in each case/letter (if there are any).

 

LITERACY STRATEGY: 

 

Following on from the above teaching idea, students could write their own letters to Frank and Tina (the advice columnists in the book), about an issue in the school they find needs looking into. These could then be discussed as a class (with the names possibly omitted) and students could discuss possible actions they could take as a class community to resolve it.

 

ASSESSMENT TASK:

 

The teacher could assess students on their work achieved in their groups, along with the literacy component of the lesson – their letters.

 

REFERENCES:

 

AusAID (2008) Global Perspectives: A framework for Global education in Australian Schools. Carlton, Victoria: Australian Government.

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