My Community. My Local Government.
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My Community. My Local Government.
A resource platform for teachers of the NSW HSIE syllabus, focusing on outcome SSS2.7: "local government structure and processes".
Curated by Anna West
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Cadigal Wangal : Home

Cadigal Wangal : Home | My Community. My Local Government. | Scoop.it
Anna West's insight:

This resource would allow students to see the role of the local council in promoting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and its important place in the history of the local community. The site looks at the original Indigenous people who populated the local area: the Cadigal and Wangal people. Information covered includes Indigenous land use, archeological investigationsand Aboriginal use of resources in the local area . Stevens (2005) argues the importance of students considering the relationships between schools and Indigenous peoples and having a strong sense of place. By incorporating ideas about Indigenous connection to the land, the teacher would show a respect for Indigenous status in the whole governmental system.

 

By exploring this council-run website, students would also be able to understand the importance of the land to the Aboriginal people and how the land connects strongly to our system of government. Without distinguishing where we are in Australia, we cannot have local councils. To enhance this understanding, the teacher could organise for a member of Marrickville council to speak to the children about Cooks River which had a strong importance for the Cadigal and Wangal people and for the local area. Information on the distinct programs run to keep the river in tact can be found here: http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/environment/in_your_community/cooks_river/marrickville_cooks_river_committee.html?s=0

 

This site would give the students a better understanding of how Australia's Indigenous people can be identified by their particular clans, and how this is important for their own local community. Advertisements about council-run events in the community such as NAIDOC week and the Deadly Awards also give students the opportunity to see Indigenous events as a part of everyday life in the community. 

 

Also useful for a teacher’s own general understanding about government and how it involves Indigenous people is the Aboriginal Governance website. This provides a governance toolkit and looks at issues of reconciliation in the community and in governance as a whole http://www.reconciliation.org.au/home/resources/governance-toolkit

 

Stevens, V. 2005. 'Embedding Indigenous Perspectives Model Framework'. Unpublished Model Framework, Indigenous Intellectual Property [PowerPoint].

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Horizon Information Portal

Horizon Information Portal | My Community. My Local Government. | Scoop.it
Anna West's insight:

The library is a prime example of a service that the local government contributes to in our everyday life. This particular example of Moonee Valley library would be easily accessible for stage 2 children. The catalogue provides links with lists of Premier’s Readathon books specific to year 3 and 4 students. A teacher could design an activity where their students explored the library to find books relevant to them. Reinforcing the importance of the council, the teacher could also ask the students to scroll down to the bottom of the page and find the logo that symbolises the local council.

 

Following this activity, the teacher could bring the class to the local library where they could borrow the books they have searched for. The teacher could arrange for the librarian to speak to the children about the local council’s role in looking after the library. Students should also be encouraged to make use of the library outside of school hours, and parents could be informed so as to allow for continuity in home life.

 

Through this link, I’ve narrowed the search down to Junior Fiction and have used ‘Aboriginal’ as an example of a search item. By searching for Indigenous literature as a matter of course, teachers could integrate Indigenous culture and history into their lesson. This would help to address a number of outcomes across the curriculum. One example from the English syllabus is outcome EN2-11D (responds to and composes a range of texts that express viewpoints of the world similar to and different from their own).

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HoD-program-my-place-my-community-K-3.pdf

Anna West's insight:

Essential for an understanding of the need for local government is for stage 2 students to acknowledge their own part in the community. This Hands on Democracy exhibition at the Museum of Australian Democracy would allow students to engage, in an interactive way, with ideas about their local government and how democracy underpins everyday life. Through a range of activities, students would be able to see the relevance of our system of government to their local community.

 

Activities in this exhibition include designing cities or towns using 3D shapes, creating artworks about what is important in the local community and story telling. The collaborative nature of these activities is important. Rob Gilbert (2011) argues that group work allows students to see that democracy means working together; it is not enough to simply make decisions by oneself. This document also provides a list of pre- and post-exhibition activities that can help the students to further develop their understanding within the classroom at school.

 

In order to make this visit particularly relevant to local government, a teacher could conduct a lesson linking ideas with the local community around the school. One lesson could focus on exploring the physical buildings or features in the surrounding community that could have links with local government (for instance, libraries, parks and public ovals).

 

This would also link with certain English outcomes. Through group work and imaginative learning, students would meet outcomes such as EN2-1A (communicates in a range of informal and formal contexts by adopting a range of roles in group, classroom, school and community contexts) and EN2-10C (thinks imaginatively, creatively and interpretively about information, ideas and texts when responding to and composing texts).

 

Gilbert, R. (2011). 'Teaching Social Systems, Politics and the Law' in Teaching Society and Environment (2011). Sydney:Cengage Learning Australia Ltd.

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Behind the News - 23/06/2009: Democratic Elections

Behind the News - 23/06/2009: Democratic Elections | My Community. My Local Government. | Scoop.it
Every three years we get the chance to elect someone we want to lead the country Its important because it gives everyone a chance to say what sort of country they want Australia to be Recently
Anna West's insight:

This news story published by Behind the News (BTN) is about the 2009 elections for government in Iran. The story would allow stage 2 students to gain a concept of Australia’s democratic government in comparison with other systems of government around the world. It also would help provide some understanding about how local government fits in with the bigger picture.

 

Although perhaps some of the concepts in this news video may be difficult for stage 2 children to understand, a teacher could create an activity with questions to draw out essential information for their level such as:
- What were the people in Iran doing?
- Why were the people singing and dancing?
- Why were people upset after the election?
- What is a ballot box?

 

To the left hand side of this video is also a clip showing the process of election for an Australian school’s Student Representative Council (SRC). This can be contrasted with what the students have seen depicted in the video about Iran. An activity whereby the students engaged in a similar - perhaps more simplified - process of election or voting could be undertaken in order to put into practice the ideas explored. Lemin, Potts and Welsford (1994) look at the concept of 'values education' whereby students learn to work collaboratively to address issues. Through a process of voting, the teacher could assess students in their understanding of problem solving and consensus seeking.

 

Mathematics outcomes could also be met through this activity. Through counting the votes and categorising those votes, students would meet outcomes including NS2.1 (Counts, orders, reads and records numbers up to four digits). They could also work out the percentage of students who had voted a particular way, thereby fulfilling the outcome NS2.4 (Models, compares and represents commonly used fractions and decimals, adds and subtracts decimals to two decimal places, and interprets everyday percentages).

 

Lemin, M., Potts, H. and Welsford, P. (eds) (1994). 'Values Strategies for Classroom Teachers'. Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research.

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LGA - Online Education Resource - What do Councils do? -

Local Goverment Online Education Resource
Anna West's insight:

One useful way to begin teaching this unit would be for the teacher to determine what the children already know about their local government. A teacher could use a program like Mindmeister (http://www.mindmeister.com/) to mindmap students’ knowledge about different facilities they use which are run by the local council. The students could be asked to think about what they see on the bus on the way to school and how many of those things might be run by the local council (facilities such as netball courts, local parks and garbage tips). Children could also identify images to correspond with the mindmap.

 

To supplement these ideas, the teacher could refer to this local government teaching web page, which provides a list of the roles of the local council. It also includes a small anecdote about a typical weekend that might involve a number of activities provided by the local council. Using a similar idea, the teacher could ask students to create a piece of imaginative writing about a weekend of activities in the local community and include four local council facilities in the piece. This would allow assessment in the degree to which students understand the role of the local council.

 

Such activities would meet a number of English outcomes. The teacher could add words such as “garbage” and “library” to a spelling list, addressing outcome EN2-5A (uses a range of strategies, including knowledge of letter-sound correspondences and common letter patterns, to spell familiar and some unfamiliar words).

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