HSIE K-6, SSS2.7 Community Organisations
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Do Something Near You! – Australia's largest community directory

Want to do something and help out in your local community? To find details of community groups in your area, just type in your postcode at Do Something Near You!
Lauren T's insight:

Do Something Near You is a community-based initiative to involve local people and businesses in their community by connecting them with not-for-profit organisations and groups in their area. By typing in a town or postcode, the site returns a list of NFPs in proximity. This could form the basis for a unit of experiential learning, allowing the class to participate as group in a community organisation of their choice. Gilbert and Hoepper state that “a key element of authentic pedagogy is connectedness to the world” (2011, p. 144), and cite Scales et al (2006) in outlining the benefits of service learning in particular for students from marginalised or disadvantaged groups. With appropriate structure and scaffolding in the classroom to guide students’ understanding of the concepts of community involvement, and to develop and practise the skills that will be required in their organisation of choice – for example, if students wish to assist with Planet Ark’s National Tree Day planting, they will need to develop listening skills, collaborative skills, organisation and decision-making skills, a knowledge base around gardening and a basic familiarity with gardening tools, amongst other things – experiential and service learning can assist students to develop their independence, higher order thinking, and problem solving skills (Gilbert & Hoepper, 2011, p. 145).

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Discovering Democracy - Units

The Discovering Democracy Units have been developed with funding from the Department of Education, Science and Training as part of the Discovering Democracy Program.

Lauren T's insight:

Discovering Democracy Units is an online version of the Discovering Democracy Program, a series of teaching resources developed in the late ‘90s to enhance student understanding of civics and democratic processes. Though slightly dated, particularly with regard to ICT integration, the units are comprehensive. They include four themed units of work for each stage, the Citizens and Public Life unit being pertinent to the subject of community groups. For middle primary, this unit of work is titled ‘Joining In’, and utilises five focus questions, each consisting of a varying number of lesson activities, materials such as worksheets and CD-ROMs, and assessment tasks.

 

As this unit begins by introducing the concept of a community group and building students’ knowledge upwards, teachers could organise these plans and materials using the SOLO taxonomy. This is a structure for observing learning outcomes (SOLO being the acronym) which provides a framework for monitoring students’ progress (see Boulton-Lewis, 1995, p. 145). From prestructural knowledge – where nothing about community groups is known – students can move through the unistructural stage in learning what community groups are, to the multistructural stage, which introduces multiple aspects, such as how community groups are run, how they achieve their goals, and how they impact society. The final activity in the unit involves students creating a brochure, encouraging others to become involved – this could be used to demonstrate a student’s reaching a relational stage of understanding, by relating all the known aspects of community groups to each other in a single, persuasive format. The final stage of the SOLO taxonomy, extended abstract knowledge, where students synthesise all their knowledge and generate new ideas in the content field, is not covered by the Discovering Democracy Units, but could be implemented with additional tasks, potentially culminating in the establishment of a class or school community group, with focuses and priorities identified by the students.

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Clean Up Australia Day - Official Site

Clean Up Australia Day - Official Site | HSIE K-6, SSS2.7 Community Organisations | Scoop.it
Clean Up Australia Day inspires thousands of Australians to take to their local park, beach, bushland and streets to clean up their local environment.
Lauren T's insight:

Clean Up Australia Day is Australia’s largest community-based environmental event, and is an excellent example of the power community groups have to make a difference to their environment and their society. The website provides a history of the movement, case studies, information on how to organise a Clean Up Day, and resources for organisers and educators. Onsite teaching resources include an interactive Clean Up the River flash game for students, which is aligned to both National and State curriculums (teacher’s notes are provided by state), and sets of lesson plans centred around both sustainability and the Clean Up Australia Day event.

 

A lesson or unit of work involving Clean Up Australia Day could involve a project-based inquiry into garbage in the school, employing Habermas’ concept of technical, interpretive, and emancipatory knowledge as a base for their critical inquiry (cited in Gilbert & Hoepper, 2011, p. 49). Students will devise a set of inquiry questions about how garbage and recycling is handled in the school – for example, how much waste does the school produce, which parts of the school have the most litter, or which class recycles the most – and then investigate with observations and measurements. Using this technical data as a base, students can then survey other students about their thoughts and habits, and combining their two forms of data, develop ideas for how waste could be better handled to improve the school environment for everyone. This could culminate in the organisation of a class-wide or school-wide Clean Up Day.

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Belinda Pomare's comment, April 13, 2013 12:43 AM
The website discuss what Clean Up Australia Day is and how you can help in your local community. It allows students to see the site for their local area and how they can register. This is a great source to understand some of the things local government does, that is, cleaning up communities for a better environment now and in the future. Sustainability is a focus on this lesson and students begin to understand how important it is to save the environment so as to ensure it is in great condition for generations to come.

As an excursion students will visit a community on this day and in groups will record short documentaries. Students will include what the day is about, what the local governments do to help and why it is important. This assessment activity will allow students to create a media resource as well as focusing on communication skills. As Ballantyne, Connell and Fien (1998) state children are catalysts for change and as such in the classroom we need to teach them how to care for the environment. (Gilbert., Hoepper, 2011, pp. 356-7)

Gilbert., R, Hoepper., B (2011). Teaching society and Environment. Cengage Learning Australia Pty Limited
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Nature Conservancy | Protecting Nature, Preserving Life

Nature Conservancy | Protecting Nature, Preserving Life | HSIE K-6, SSS2.7 Community Organisations | Scoop.it
The Nature Conservancy protects Earth's natural resources and beauty. Our conservation efforts are driven by our members. Act Now.
Lauren T's insight:

Nature Conservancy is an American non-profit organisation working towards sustainability and conservation of our global environment. The website provides details about the Conservancy’s work around the globe, along with targeted issues such as climate change, land conservation, and smart development. An examination of the work of a global environmental group who advocate a balance between conservation and modern development aligns with the Australian Government’s Global Perspectives framework, which states that students should develop an understanding of the ways to satisfy our needs sustainably, without harming the environment, and also cultivate an awareness that they are members of an interconnected, global society (Commonwealth of Australia, 2008, pp. 5-6).

 

A lesson centred on the work of the Nature Conservancy could engage children to think about the activities that underpin resource systems – farming, fishing, mining, etc. – in terms of both their positive and negative impacts. A research project employing the Claim Support Question routine, part of Harvard’s Visible Thinking strategies (Tishman & Palmer, 2005), would support this. After exploring the site and discussing as a class what sorts of work the Nature Conservancy is doing, students can in groups decide on a theme and make a claim – for example, American livestock farmers can save water by planting native grasses – and research the topic using ICT resources to find evidence that supports their claim, how/why it should be implemented, and its potential global impact. They should then devise a set of questions arising from their research: what more would they like to know about the theme, in what other ways could it be applied, are there any problems that might arise, etc. Students can present their claim, supporting evidence and questions to the class in any one of a variety of formats – whether as a poster, a mind map or other diagrams, an oral or video presentation, dioramas/models, or a blog or website – to be assessed.

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Aboriginal Housing Company | AHC | Pemulwuy Project

Aboriginal Housing Company | AHC | Pemulwuy Project | HSIE K-6, SSS2.7 Community Organisations | Scoop.it
AHC formed in direct response to the widespread discrimination Aboriginal people experienced in the private rental market.
Lauren T's insight:

The Aboriginal Housing Company is an organisation based in Redfern, dedicated to providing low-cost housing for Aboriginal people in the area, and in particular, redeveloping the area known as “the Block” through the Pemulwuy Project. The website includes a profile of the organisation and its history, videos from members of the AHC discussing the Pemulwuy Project and what it means for Redfern and the Aboriginal community, and a community blog, highlighting events and issues within the local Aboriginal community. This website presents an Aboriginal perspective in all aspects, including the events of the 1970s that led to the creation of the AHC, and the efforts they have made towards realising their goals with the Pemulwuy Project.

 

A lesson focused on the Aboriginal Housing Company and the Pemulwuy Project could be used in conjunction with a unit of work on Needs and Wants. Shelter is a basic human need. Students could examine, through various print and digital media, houses and local areas of various people in Australia, including the Block via the AHC website, and in pairs or groups classify what they consider the necessities and the luxuries within each area. Yunkaporta and Kirby emphasise the importance of the yarn and oral-storytelling in Aboriginal pedagogy (2011), so using the Block as a case study, students could listen to guest speakers from the AHC give their perspective on what services and aspects are important to the Redfern community. This could culminate in assessable group presentations, with each group researching one need and one want of the Aboriginal community around the Block, what they entail, how the AHC will address them through the Pemulwuy Project, and how the students believe this will benefit the Aboriginal community in Redfern.

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