Electoral Processes in Australia
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Controversial Issues in Schools

Controversial Issues in Schools | Electoral Processes in Australia | Scoop.it

Via Catherine Smyth
Ying Yu Wei's insight:
Catherine Smyth's insight:

The Controversial Issues Policy (NSW Department of Education and Communities)  provides directions for the management of controversial issues in the classroom. 

Schools are neutral grounds for rational discourse and objective study. They are not arenas for opposing political views or ideologies.Discussion of controversial issues is acceptable only when it clearly serves the educative purpose and is consistent with curriculum objectives. Such discussion is not intended to advance the interest of any group, political or otherwise.
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Catherine Smyth's curator insight, September 12, 2014 2:39 AM

The Controversial Issues Policy (NSW Department of Education and Communities)  provides directions for the management of controversial issues in the classroom. 

  • Schools are neutral grounds for rational discourse and objective study. They are not arenas for opposing political views or ideologies.
  • Discussion of controversial issues is acceptable only when it clearly serves the educative purpose and is consistent with curriculum objectives. Such discussion is not intended to advance the interest of any group, political or otherwise.
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Who wants to be a millionaire? Australian Federal Elections: Q&A

Ying Yu Wei's insight:

Fun Trivia provides informative, easy to follow comprehension passage for children to learn about structures, roles, responsibilities and decision making processes of Federal Government (SSS3.8) e.g. how often elections occur, why it's compulsory, who can be exempt, legal voting age, last group to be included in vote, what day the Election is held,

as well as touching on historical narrative of groups who were excluded from voting process. Then you can test your knowledge by taking the Trivia.

 

This can be done individually or in pairs.  

 

Teaching ideas:

1. Print out the text but blank out/remove some of the key words.

Give to Yr 5-6 as a "fill in the blank" activity (individual/group/class activity using smart board or as homework).

 

2. When confident, play a few rounds of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" or "Hit the Buzzer" or "Are you smarter than a 5th grader?

Essentially, it's a competition as a table groups/as a class to see who can answers these trivia questions quickly and accurately.

 

Assessment Task: Short answer questions that might combine the trivia quiz questions e.g. Can anyone vote in the election? Why or why not?

 

 

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Ying Yu Wei's comment, April 18, 2013 2:05 AM
Board of Studies NSW (2007). Human Society and Its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Sydney:B.O.S.
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Elections: decision making by the group, for the group

Ying Yu Wei's insight:

In order to help make electoral processes relevant and meaningful for young children they need to understand the basic values and principles behind democracy (CCS3.2) and electoral processes (SSS3.8) fair decision making - via active and experiential learning.

 

"Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I will understand" (Gilbert & Hoepper, 2011, p.143)

 

Teaching Ideas

1.  Sting of inequality - Decision Making Processes (SSS3.8)

 

For 1-2 days (teachers discernment) only consult 4 students (randomly selected) about classroom games/activities. Ask them how they felt (SSS2.8). Summarise students’ feedback ( decision makers compared to other class members ) into Plus Minus Interesting (PMI) chart. Ask questions to stimulate response: What did you like or dislike about it? How could it have been fairer? How can you have your say? 

 

2. "Who should represent us?"

Ask students to discuss and make checklist of who they could trust to be the environment minister/SRC/sports minister/art minister.

Presentation options:  WANTED poster, Job Ad, mind map, profile

 

3. "And the nominees are ..."

 

Based on Activity 2) ask class to openly nominate people be the class rep (SSS2.8). Nominees (candidates) have a chance to accept/reject and say a little speech, persuade the others why they deserve the class (citizens) vote on being responsible for ...e.g. SRC. (Simulation to renact real situations-Gilbert & Hoepper, 2011, p.143).

 

4. Maintain a glossary or group "Election Handbook"

eligibility to vote, citizenship, secret ballot, electorate, member of parliament, political party, electoral commission.

 

The activities promote multiple means of representation and expression according to Universal Design for Learning (Spooner, Baker, Harris, Ahlgrim-Delzell, Browder, 2007).

 

Literacy element: glossary, campaign pamphlet

 

ICT skills: computer generated pamphlet

 

Numeracy skills: keeping score of votes, percentage of class that voted, how much does the SRC candidate represent the class...male, represents 60% of the class population, Asian, represents 30% of class, how many seats in House of Representatives? NS3.4

 

 

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Ying Yu Wei's comment, April 18, 2013 1:38 AM
Gilbert, R. & Hoepper, B. (2011). Teaching Society and
Environment. 4th Edition. South Melbourne: Cengage
Learning Australia. (Chapter 8: Active and experiential learning).
Ying Yu Wei's comment, April 18, 2013 2:06 AM
Board of Studies NSW (2007). Human Society and Its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Sydney:B.O.S.
Ying Yu Wei's comment, April 18, 2013 2:28 AM
Board of Studies NSW (2006). Mathematics K-6 Syllabus. Sydney:B.O.S
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Twelve_Canoes: Thomson Time

Ying Yu Wei's insight:

This 12 Canoes video clip "Thomson Time" is the Yolgnu' people recount of Dr Thomson, an anthropologist who was their advocate and representative before Australian government in the 1930s. By using symbols, images and story sharing (Yunkaporta & Kirby, 2011, 207) as a pedagogy of learning, viewers and students hopefully learn what characteristics made a person fit to represent the Yolgnu people before government. They considered Dr Thomson to be their representative because he had spent time with them, he was their friend, worthy of their trust, and someone who was truly mindful and responsive to the Yolgnu people's needs and rights. (CCS3.1)

 

It is worth asking if today's representatives in political parties are like Dr Thomson.

 

Discussion Questions:

Does your member of parliament have to share your ethnicity or race to represent you? What makes a person suitable to represent you in government? What skills do they need to help present your case?

How can government representatives/candidates be better at representing their community and citizens? How can they learn from Dr Thomson?

 

  

Teaching Idea:

Create a collage using magazine pictures of people from different ages/occupations to show diversity and eligibility (over 18yrs) of people who can vote and who can stand for government.

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Ying Yu Wei's comment, April 18, 2013 2:22 AM
Board of Studies NSW (2007). Human Society and Its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Sydney:B.O.S.
Ying Yu Wei's comment, April 18, 2013 2:34 AM
Yunkaporta, T., & Kirby, M. (2011). Yarning up Indigenous pedagogies: A dialogue about eight Aboriginal ways of learning Two way Teaching and Learning. Melbourne ACER. pp. 205-214
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Different forms of government

Different forms of government | Electoral Processes in Australia | Scoop.it
Ying Yu Wei's insight:

This is a simple visual representation of the different forms of governance currently practised in the world to stimulate research of global perspectives in electoral processes

 

Classroom Teaching ideas:

 

1. Find 2 countries that currently operate under each of these forms of governance and make a little profile next to their country and flag.

Discuss possibility of merges e.g. Australia is a combination of Monarchy and Democracy, globally interconnected with English Rule (SSS3.7), or how Syria is supposedly a democracy, but there is some military rule/tyranny. This activity encourages student to investigate the inequality and government differences between cultures and countries (Australian Government, 2008, p. 10)

 

2. Pretend you are a real estate agent, but helping people choose which COUNTRY to live in. Make a Real Estate Catalogue for 5 countries.

Have children write up "reviews" for each country/type of government from the persona of citizens already living there.

 

3. Similar to the Mock UN Meeting, group children so they each represent a country with this type of governance and justify why their governance is better.

 

 

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Ying Yu Wei's comment, April 18, 2013 2:22 AM
Board of Studies NSW (2007). Human Society and Its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Sydney:B.O.S.
Ying Yu Wei's comment, April 18, 2013 2:41 AM
Australian Government (2008). Global Perspectives: a framework for global education in Australia schools. South Victoria: Education Services Australia.
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Value of Voting - using Blooms Taxonomy

Value of Voting - using Blooms Taxonomy | Electoral Processes in Australia | Scoop.it
Ying Yu Wei's insight:

Here are some classroom activities and/or assessment tasks based on Bloom's Taxonomy to encourage higher order thinking.

 

1. Analysing: Construct a timeline (MS3.5)

to show significant changes in eligibility for enrolment in Australia since 1901 e.g. when Aboriginal people were allowed to vote in elections. This activity also incorporates numeracy elements (measuring and creating a timeline to scale)

 

2. Applying:

Write five questions you can use to interview your family or friends to discover their views about compulsory enrolment. Interview at least two community members and record their answers (TS3.1) . Did they have any views in common? In conflict? 

 

3. Have students pose as journalists (role play and experiental learning), and have them prepare  interview questions they would like to ask of a member of parliament/the candidates e.g. Why are you a good representative for our table/class/

community? What relationships have you built with members of your electorate? How do you know what needs they have?

 

 4. Evaluating (exposition)

 

What do you think about compulsory enrolment? What does it mean for democracy in Australia? Give reasons to support your opinion

 

Literacy elements include describing (what is voting?), reading and researching, comparing, expositions.

 

 

 

 

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Ying Yu Wei's comment, April 18, 2013 2:32 AM
Board of Studies NSW (2006). English K-6 Syllabus :B.O.S

Board of Studies NSW (2006). Mathematics K-6 Syllabus. Sydney:B.O.S