Class and School Decision Making: Civics and Citizenship
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Discovering Democracy Units - The Units

Ross M. Adcock's insight:

On this website following units from the book "Discovering Democracy", there are many tasks and activities that teachers could utilize in their teaching to help students understand the nature of class and school decision making.The website's information covers a range of topics, and focusing on the topics of "Joining in" and "Rules and Laws" teachers can help explain the concepts rules and regulations to students, and furthermore, the teacher can use this resource to help explain why rules are necessary in other contexts, such as the classroom or the school environment.

 

Task Idea:

Specifically addressing the section under stage 2 for "Rules and Laws", students can engage in an activity called "Guess my rules" where they play a game where only the teacher knows the rules, and when students break the rules they have to sit out. This task demonstrates the understanding that rules need to be fair and explicit.

 

Reflective Questions:

Why wasn't the game fun?

What is the point of having rules? Are they important?

What rules do we have in the classroom?

 

Pedagogical Link:

By having the students collaborate and attempt to work out the rules and the importance of having them, they will be engaging within the Zone of Proximal Development, drawing information from the "knowledgable other" (Teacher) and collaborating and discussing with their peers.

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Education World: Teaching Good Citizenship's Five Themes

Education World: Teaching Good Citizenship's Five Themes | Class and School Decision Making: Civics and Citizenship | Scoop.it
These activities help develop K-6 students' understanding of good character and the five citizenship themes---honesty, compassion, respect, responsibility and courage.
Ross M. Adcock's insight:

This website gives five major themes of citizenship (Honesty, compassion, respect, responsibility and courage) and plans activities based around grade 2/3 in the American school system, which is equivalent to stage 2 in the Australian system.

 

Considering the activities made to emphasize these fives themes, in your own classrooms you can contextualize the actitivies, such as helping children to understand religious difference with regards to the ideas of respect and responsibility to understand the SSS2.8 indicator -Investigates the contribution of religious groups in their community. This will be useful to help students reflect on the differences between what it means to live in Australia in comparison with other western nations such as America.

 

Points to consider:

Consider religious and ethnic differences between countries for discussion, it's important to remember that some students will have no idea what it's like living in another country.

 

Task Ideas:

Student could discuss the rules they have at home and how their parents ask them to behave at home. Chores can be paralleled with responsibilities in this way. This would be a good example of relational learning for students to engage with.

 

Another further discussion might follow in helping the students to understand how roles and responsibilities are reflected in citizenship, and how teachers make decisions in the classroom to help instruct students. Explicitly stating the expected responsibilties of teachers and school staff, such as the school nurse or principal, helping students understand different types of roles and responsibilities.

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Kidsview - Parliament in Focus: Teachers & Parents

Ross M. Adcock's insight:

This government site has plenty of useful child-friendly resources to help study the importance of legislation and has aims and outcomes that are related to each individual link found on the site. To focus on the concept of Civics and Citizenship, it might be best for teachers to explore the section under "Law-Making", with sub-sections of "Playing Fair" and "Pass the Bill". In these sections, the rights and responsibilities of being an Australian citizen are addressed, and can be contrasted with other countries.

 

Outcome/Indicators:

SSS2.8

• describes how decisions are made in local government

and the roles and responsibilities of those involved

• explains the processes involved in civic action within the

community

• identifies the contributions made by some community

organisations and groups to the quality of community

 

Pedagogical Ideas:

Asking children to brainstorm what it means to be an Australian resident, and the responsibilities of being an Australian citizen.

After reflecting on key responsibilites, students could be asked to fulfill a role playing task to parallel those decisions by making classroom decisions about ideas such as every student's right to speak when their hand is raised.

This would help children consolidate their understanding of roles and responsibilities by representing them with a concrete task they can engage with. With regards to the SOLO Taxonomy, this would help move student's towards a relational understanding of roles and responsibilities as a whole.

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Suggested by Catherine Smyth
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Civics | Welcome

Civics | Welcome | Class and School Decision Making: Civics and Citizenship | Scoop.it
The Civics and Citizenship Education website provides teaching and learning resources relating to all aspects of the democratic process in Australia. A DEST funded project.
Ross M. Adcock's insight:

This website under the Australian government contains resources to be used either by teachers or students to discover more about what it means to be an Australian citizen, and the importance of being one. There are specific sections for stage 2 students, and teachers can use this website to explain ideas such as Australian symbols, the meaning of the flag, and what makes a good Australian citizen. Due to this website being directly under the Australian government, there are direct links to the syllabus' for English and History, and it makes multiple references to the importance of local government and governance. 

 

Other ideas:

There are links to aboriginal and torres straight island views as well, and it is considerate to human rights and the importance of the individual. There are online resources and videos that a teacher could implement into their teaching strategy, and many helpful explanations for multiple age groups. 

 

Outcome allignment:

SSS2.8

-describes how decisions are made in local government

and the roles and responsibilities of those involved

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Indigenous Australia Timeline - 1901 to 1969 - Australian Museum

Indigenous Australia Timeline - 1901 to 1969 - Australian Museum | Class and School Decision Making: Civics and Citizenship | Scoop.it
A timeline of events relating to Indigenous Australians from the time of Federation in 1901 until 1969.
Ross M. Adcock's insight:

This website has a great timeline outlining important dates in the interactions between the Commonwealth of Australia and the indigenous people of Australia. An important aspect to consider is the section on citizenship and rights granted to "Australians", with examples such as in 1967 when policy included Aboriginal peoples being in the national census.

 

Task Idea:

An activity that a stage two class might do is re-create a time line that tells the story of the indigenous aboriginals in this country. By cutting out pieces of paper with certain dates and short paragraphs of information on them, students will be able to mix and match the dates and information by referring to the website, or print outs if necessary. The purpose of this task would be to help students understand the progress that has been achieved in helping to legitimize the citizenship status of aboriginal peoples as belonging to the country of Australia, as well as being the original owners and care takers of the land.

 

Syllabus Link:

-encourage students to become involved in school and community issues

SSS2.8
-describes how decisions are made in local government

and the roles and responsibilities of those involved

With links to change and continuity as well, this resource could be used to help students understand how government has changed their decisions and the status of Aboriginals in Australia.

 

 

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