Democratic Processes & Decision Making HSIE Stage 3
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Get Voting - School elections made easy

Get Voting - School elections made easy | Democratic Processes & Decision Making HSIE Stage 3 | Scoop.it
Jesse Smith's insight:

All 'Democratic Processes and Decision Making' resources annotated specifically relate to the following subject matter and outcome:

 

Outcome: SSS3:8 Explains the structures, roles, responsibilities and decision-making processes of State and Federal governments and explains why Australians value fairness and socially just principles Subject Matter: Community, school and class decision-making and democratic processes 

 

 

“Tell me, and I will forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand”, This well-known Chinese proverb articulates the value and importance of experiential learning (Gilbert & Hoepper, 2011, p.143).

 

The Australian Electoral Commission provides teachers with a valuable and accessible digital resource through the ‘Get Voting’ downloadable package. The resource kit enables schools to facilitate their own school election through 5 key stages, highlighting the electoral processes that contribute to democracy within Australia. Teachers can view the video tutorials provided to consolidate their understanding, and utilise the 13 included documents and lesson suggestions to guide and plan their school or class election. However, it is important for teachers to modify the resource content for the needs of their students, and to consider classroom relationships and behaviour when undertaking an election. A classroom election modelled on a genuine real-life experience is a practical application of students learning within the subject area of democracy and decision-making. This resource outlines the key election processes to be simulated in the classroom and therefore enables an authentic experiential learning experience demonstrating ‘connectedness to the world’ (Gilbert & Hoepper, 2011, p.143). The immersion of students within the process develops increased understanding, promotes active learning and provides immediate reinforcement (Marsh, 2010, pp.215, 241).

 

The ‘Get Voting’ resource also provides opportunities for teachers to link students’ democracy and decision-making learning to mathematics, particularly data and statistics; Mathematics MA3-18SP “uses appropriate methods to collect data and constructs, interprets and evaluates data displays, including dot plots, line graphs and two-way tables” (Board of Studies, 2012, p.250). Bobis, Mulligan & Lowrie state that the collection, organisation and presentation of real data are valuable learning resources for developing students’ statistical literacy and mathematical knowledge (2013, p.73). The final step ‘Get Results’ includes tally sheets for both first past the post and preferential voting systems. Also included is a ‘Voting Tool’, an interactive online game based activity which outlines the key differences between the two voting structures and assists students understanding of organising data. Stage 3 students would have already developed data collection and organisation knowledge, and therefore would benefit from focusing on preferential voting, however a comparison between the two would be beneficial. An integrated mathematics lesson could also include the representation of data on posters through graphs and charts, which could be used for presentation of the results to the school.

 

'Get Voting' is a valuable teaching tool and has particular value as a planning and guiding instrument. Teachers should ensure through the election process that the learning emphasis is on democratic processes and decision making on a class/school level. Ultimately this experiential learning will contribute to students greater understanding of democracy and the decision making processes of both the community and government. 

 

References: 

 

Australian Electoral Commission, (2014). Get Voting. [Online] Retrieved April 3 2014 from http://education.aec.gov.au/getvoting/ 

 

Board of Studies NSW, (2012). NSW Mathematics K-10 Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum. [Online] Retrieved April 6 2014 from http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/mathematics/mathematics-k10/

 

Bobis, J., Mulligan, J., & Lowrie, T. (2013). (4th Edition). Mathematics for Children: Challenging children to think mathematically. Sydney: Pearson Education. 

 

Gilbert, R. & Hoepper, B. (2011). Teaching Society and Environment. 4th Edition. Victoria: Cengage Learning.

 

Marsh, C. (2010). Becoming a Teacher: Knowledge, Skills and Issues. Pearson Australia Group. 

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Twelve Canoes

Twelve Canoes | Democratic Processes & Decision Making HSIE Stage 3 | Scoop.it

 

12 Canoes is a broadband website presenting, in an artistic, cultural and educational context, the stories, art and environment of the Yolngu people who live around the Arafura swamp in north-eastern Arnhem Land.
Jesse Smith's insight:

Twelve Canoes is a rich resource featuring a considerable collection of stories from the Yolngu people of Arnhem Land. The story of the ‘Ancestors’ provides insight into the lifestyle and sacred traditions of the Yolngu people’s heritage. This insight into the role of Ancestors and Elders in guiding the decision making processes of the Yolngu people provides an Aboriginal perspective into decision making in community groups. The website also contains a Study Guide for teachers within the ‘About Us’ tab, which is an excellent resource for further consolidation of understanding, while also providing background knowledge and context to the main website content. Burridge (2007, p.11) explains that the inclusion of Aboriginal perspective and culture within the curriculum is fundamental to the construction of understanding on Indigenous issues within students. This notion is reiterated by the NSW Department of Education and Training, who supports that an Aboriginal perspective “recognises and values Aboriginal culture and identity” (2003, p. 11). 

 

Teachers must critically reflect on the appropriateness of resources used when embedding an Indigenous perspective within a unit of work. It is imperative that teachers consider if resources have been collaborated upon with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Twelve Canoes was collaborated upon with the Indigenous Yolngu people of Arnhem Land, and so meets criteria of authenticity and accuracy. It is important to recognise that Twelve Canoes, while covering an array of topics within Yolngu culture, only contains the stories and perspectives of one Indigenous group, and therefore is not representative of all Indigenous Australians (Department of Education and Training, 2003, p.11).

 

Twelve Canoes would most effectively be used as a teaching and learning resource when shown following a visit from an Elder from the Indigenous group local to the school. Teachers can be guided through contacting their local Indigenous Elder through discussion with the local branch of the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group. Through inviting an Elder to educate and inform the students on the role of Elders in decision-making processes, the teacher utilizes community consultation to ensure they do not cause disrespect. Aspects of spirituality are culturally sensitive and are not to be taught by non-Indigenous people without the authority and knowledge to teach it, and teachers should deeply consider this when planning lessons (Gilbert & Hoepper, 2011, p.392). 

 

References:

 

12Canoes (2014) Twelve Canoes. [Online] Retrieved April 2 2014 from http://www.12canoes.com.au/

 

Burridge, N. (2007). Unfinished business: re-igniting the discussion on the role of education in the reconciliation process, retrieved April 5 2014 from http://www.aare.edu.au/07pap/bur07251.pdf

 

Gilbert, R. & Hoepper, B. (2011). Teaching Society and Environment. 4th Edition. Victoria: Cengage Learning.

 

New South Wales Department of Education and Training. (2003) Aboriginal Education K-12 : Resource Guide. Sydney: Professional Support and Curriculum Directorate NSW DET.

 

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Governance | Global Education

Governance | Global Education | Democratic Processes & Decision Making HSIE Stage 3 | Scoop.it
Jesse Smith's insight:

Global Education provides a wealth of resources to assist teachers to embed a global perspective within their lesson content. The website features an array of teaching resources, including case studies, country profiles and teaching activities. By embedding a global perspective within the lesson, students are given opportunity to explore the socioeconomic and geopolitical conditions of another country, and learn about important world issues.

 

The Global Issue of ‘Governance’ (listed under ‘Global issues expanded’) is examined on the website in a variety of formats. Global Education includes resource links to useful websites including the, case studies and facts. The ‘Introduction’ page provides an overview on the relationship of good governance with democracy, providing students with a summary of the nature of democracy. The teacher can make direct links between the learning opportunities of this resource and the subject matter "Community, school and class decision-making and democratic processes" by comparing and contrasting. The website sustains a considerably developed vocabulary, therefore it would be beneficial to define words throughout the lesson to ensure student understanding.

 

In addition, Global Education also includes a country profile on Myanmar, which is a relevant case study on the topic of democracy due to recent and ongoing political tension. The ‘Government’ tab includes a short paragraph concisely outlining the governmental structure in Myanmar, mentioning the democratic struggle of Aung San Suu Kyi. Due to the complex nature of this area of study, these resources would be best implemented in a lesson that is considerably scaffolded by the teacher. A 'Compare and Contrast' table would be an effective way to organise knowledge for the purpose of this content. Similarly, by discussing the information as a class the students Zone of Proximal Development is activated, as collaboration produces a greater understanding founded on a broader field of background knowledge (McInerney & McInerney, 2010, p.54).

 

It is important that the teacher considers the learning needs of their students while planning and evaluating a resource for use within the classroom, so that students remain engaged with the lesson content.It is imperative that the teacher discusses the issues concerning ICT use, and revises classroom policies on internet use prior to allowing students to access the internet to ensure ICT use is safe, responsible and ethical. 

 

 

References:

 

Global Education. (2014). Governance. [online] Retrieved April 3, 2014, from http://www.globaleducation.edu.au/global-issues/gi-governance.html

 

 McInerney, D., & McInerney, V. (2010). Educational Psychology: Constructing Learning. Sydney: Pearson Education Australia. Ch 2.

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Representation: Elections | Teaching | Parliamentary Education Office (voting,elections,first,students,past)

Representation: Elections | Teaching | Parliamentary Education Office (voting,elections,first,students,past) | Democratic Processes & Decision Making HSIE Stage 3 | Scoop.it
Elections are an integral part of our democracy. Elections attempt to translate public opinion into parliamentary representation. In this lesson students compare and utilise systems of voting:...
Jesse Smith's insight:

The Parliamentary Education Office website provides multiple resources for teacher planning and instruction, as well as for student interaction. The website includes lesson plans, visual aids, ‘Kids view’ interactive games and student friendly information. Teachers can utilise the many features of the website to construct Stage 3 appropriate lessons to satisfy the outcome SSS3.8: “Explains the structures, roles, responsibilities and decision-making processes of State and federal governments and explains why Australians value fairness and socially just principles”. This analysis will particularly focus on ‘Community, school and class decision-making and democratic processes’ (Board of Studies, 2006, pp. 60-61).

 

Teachers can use the lesson plans featured in the ‘Teaching’ tab to guide their teaching content. The ‘Representation: Elections’ lesson plan is particularly valuable for eliciting discussion on why and how elections are conducted in Australia, and for eliciting students’ prior knowledge of democracy, parliamentary representatives and levels of government. The ‘Getting Started’ section would be useful for assessing the knowledge that students bring to the classroom, a critical component of effective learning as teachers can make informed decisions on how to best integrate students knowledge to the learning tasks (McInerney & McInerney, 2010, p.105). The ‘Parliament and Governance’ section of the ‘Quick Answers’ tab could be used by teacher and students for definitions and explanations of questions such as ‘What is a democracy?’ and ‘How can the community affect decision-making in Parliament?’. By utilising the factual nature of this website element, the teacher builds students foundational knowledge. Similarly, the teacher could use this feature to create Question and Answer cards (question displayed on one side, with a summary answer contained on the back) to be referred to throughout the unit of study.

 

Students can contribute to a class debate on compulsory voting in Australia (, para 10). Students are divided into two groups and guided in their discussion for and against compulsory voting. Students arguments are based on their aforementioned learning and after discussion students carry out any required further research that was identified. It is imperative that teachers are proactive in educating students on internet safety before initiating independent online research tasks. Teachers should adopt a Cyber Smart approach and more information and guidance can be found at www.cybersmart.gov.au.

 

The teacher assists students to collaboratively construct a class exposition, fulfilling English Outcome EN3-2A “composes, edits and presents well-structured and coherent texts” (Board of Studies, 2012, p.100). Informal assessment can be carried out by observing the quality of students answers to demonstrate their understanding of the lesson content. This form of assessment can be used as assessment of learning as well as for learning, as it can further guide the teachers planning of future lessons (Marsh, 2010, p.314).

 

References: 

 

Board of Studies. (2006). HSIE K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: Board of Studies NSW.  [Online] Retrieved April 1, 2014, from

http://k6.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/wps/wcm/connect/93415130-2afa-4654-a740-cf3d399d2627/k6_hsie_syl.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

 

Board of Studies NSW (2012). NSW English K-10 syllabus for the Australian Curriculum. [Online] Retrieved April 1, 2013 from http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/english/english-k10/content-and-outcomes/

 

Gilbert, R. & Hoepper, B. (2011). Teaching Society and Environment. 4th Edition. Victoria: Cengage Learning.

 

Marsh, C. (2010). Becoming a Teacher: Knowledge, Skills and Issues. Pearson Australia Group.

 

McInerney, D., & McInerney, V. (2010). Educational Psychology: Constructing Learning. Sydney: Pearson Education Australia. Ch 4.

 

Parliamentary Education Office, (2014). Reprensentation: Elections. [Online] Retrieved March 28 2014, from http://www.peo.gov.au/teaching/parliamentary-lesson-plans/representation-elections.html 

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Democratic Elections

Democratic Elections | Democratic Processes & Decision Making HSIE Stage 3 | Scoop.it
Every three years we get the chance to elect someone we want to lead the country. It's important because it gives everyone a chance to say what sort of country they want Australia to be. Recently there was the same sort of election in the country of Iran, but it's made people really angry because they say it was unfair. Let's find out what's going on.
Jesse Smith's insight:

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) “allow the teacher and student to teach and learn in enriching ways” (Winch, Johnston, March, Ljungdahl & Holliday, 2010, p.400). Video is a powerful way to communicate content as it utilises both sound and visual texts to engage learners and represent information in multiple ways. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) ‘Behind the News’ (BTN) program is an excellent teaching and learning resource, featuring news segments, quizzes and other interactive activities on a variety of topics. BTN provides stage 3 appropriate content, in the format of a modified news program.

 

‘Democratic Elections’, aired in 2009, provides a short but detailed synopsis of election processes and their contribution to democracy within Australia. I recommend viewing the video from 1 minute 20 seconds into the clip, as the prior content, while interesting is not currently relevant on a global stage. The video effectively contrasts democratic and undemocratic practices, and through this contrast students understanding is enhanced. The BTN clip shows footage of a school group running an SRC election, identifying the different roles that contribute to the running of a fair election.

 

The BTN video would be most effectively implemented into a teaching sequence before investigating the roles and processes of an election, as it would engage students attention and stimulate their prior knowledge of the electoral procedure. Teacher could conduct assessment for learning by instructing students to write a list outlining the key processes that make up a democratic election. This would inform the teacher of what aspects of an election need to be focussed on in future lessons, and what prior knowledge can be built upon as well as assessing students comprehension skills. After sequencing their own list, students could collaborate in groups to create a more extensive step-by-step list. By allowing students to work collectively in groups, the teacher enhances the lesson outcome by utilising the Zone of Proximal Development (McInerney & McInerney, 2010, p. 54).

 

Teachers should ensure all videos shown have been thoroughly watched and checked for age appropriate content and lesson relevance.

 

References:

 

Australian Broadcasting Corporation, (2009). Behind the News: Democratic Elections. [Online] Retrieved April 7 2014 from http://www.abc.net.au/btn/story/s2600931.htm

 

Winch, G., Johnston, R., March, P., Ljungahl, L., & Holliday, M. (2010). Literacy: reading writing and children’s literature (4th ed.) South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

 

McInerney, D., & McInerney, V. (2010). Educational Psychology: Constructing Learning. Sydney: Pearson Education Australia. Ch 2.

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