What does your local government do for you? Roles and responsibilities of citizens in local government.
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talkingidentity.pdf

Alexandra Campbell's insight:

Implementing an Aboriginal perspective within the classroom with the use of authentic Aboriginal resources will enable the improvement of a “cross-cultural understanding” as well as strengthening “the process of Reconciliation” (NSW Department of Education and Training, 2003, p.4). This resource is one that will aid in developing children’s understanding of Aboriginal Australia. Furthermore it is beneficial for teachers to use as it discusses many of the curriculum outcomes such as SSS2.8 – Investigates rights, responsibilities and decision-making processes in the school and community and demonstrates how participation can contribute to the quality of their school and community life.

 

There are numerous educational ideas that have been explored within this resource; one such activity is based around a Dreaming story, The Bunyip. Some of the main themes that run through this story are that of responsibility and rules, such as the roles of Elders, and why they are important. This activity would be useful for teachers to use as it highlights how we as citizens have a role and responsibility to have a say in the rules that govern us, like those in local government. The story moves to link why these rules are important and that they are there for a reason.  Utilising a Dreaming story, such as The Bunyip, when discussing the roles and responsibilities of citizens would be beneficial as it highlights the importance of Dreaming stories within Aboriginal culture. As one of its purposes, “is to establish rules governing relationships between people, the land and all things for Aboriginal peoples” (NSW Department of Education and Training, 2002, p.53).

 

Furthermore, Talking Identity is an authentic resource for teachers to use as it states where this story was sourced from and credits them. It states that  “A Dreaming story, Wiradjuri Nation (Narrandera) … dedicated to the memory of William Archibold Lyons who told this Dreaming story to his children” (NSW Department of Education and Training, 2002, p.75). The use of the resource Talking Identity will enable students to “learn more about Aboriginal Australia and gain a proper understanding of Aboriginal cultures, communities and histories” (NSW Department of Education and Training, 2003, p.4).

 

References:

 

NSW Department of Education and Training, (2002). Aboriginal Education K-12 Resource Guide. Sydney: Author

 

NSW Department of Education and Training, (2003). Aboriginal Education K-12 Resource Guide. Sydney: Author 

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About - Get Voting

About - Get Voting | What does your local government do for you? Roles and responsibilities of citizens in local government. | Scoop.it
Alexandra Campbell's insight:

This resource would be best used towards the end of the topic. It will be most beneficial to students once they have grasped the concept of local government as well as what roles citizens play in local councils and any issues that may be impacting upon them. Teachers could use the steps suggested by the AEC in how to run an election at school and taper this for a Stage 2 perspective, such as conducting a role-play scenario of running for local council within the classroom.

 

This activity could take place over several weeks. The first lesson could be a brainstorming exercise with students discussing what makes a good election, the roles of the public and councillors within local government, as well as giving out the roles for the exercise. These roles could include councillors running for local government, members of the public and those in charge of conducting the ballot. The following lessons could include pre election preparation, such as making posters for the campaign. Hold a forum in the classroom where the children can act out their roles, such as members of the public asking council members what they can do for the community. Have the children vote and then collate the results in graphs.  

 

In completing these activities students will develop skills in several areas such as their literacy and numeracy skills, as they will be drawing on knowledge of persuasive writing, speaking and listening. Some of the skills that children will be developing within this exercise include being able to “consider information from a variety of perspectives” as the students will be evaluating perspectives and making a judgement based upon the information of those running for local government (Board of Studies NSW, 2007, p.11).

Furthermore the students will use an inquiry approach, as they will need to “gather and organise data to create and interpret tables and graphs” when collecting the votes (Board of Studies NSW, 2006, p.15). Through this exercise students will be “participating in meaningful research” as they will need to use their discretion when collating information regarding the point of interest wether they are playing the role of a local citizen or running for council (Board of Studies NSW, 2007, p.12).

 

References:

 

Board of Studies NSW, (2006). Mathematics K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: Author

 

Board of Studies NSW. (2007). Human Society and Its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: Author 

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DD Units - Guide Govt & Law - Ch 4 - Citizens

Alexandra Campbell's insight:

Discovery Democracy is a great resource as it would be a great introductory tool for teachers to use when first starting the topic of SSS2.8. Various ideas are suggested that teachers could utilise especially when first discussing what local governments are. It offers a broad overview of what local governments are, the roles of citizens within local governments and how citizens can participate in this process and the purpose of this participation. Understanding the basis of what local governments are is important for students to be able to understand the roles and responsibilities of citizens. After discussing the roles of local government it discusses the role of citizens and the power we have in this role. If we don’t approve of something we have the power to change it.

 

One of the major benefits of this website is that it provides teachers with accurate background knowledge prior to undertaking the subject matter.  Furthermore it offers great ideas and lesson plans that will enable teachers to foster the children’s knowledge. As this educational resource will be most beneficial in the introductory phase, lesson ideas that could be used include brainstorming or mind mapping of their prior knowledge of the topic.

 

The lessons suggested integrate many of the indicators that come under SSS2.8. Some of the suggested activities that could be conducted within the classroom include having children work in groups and having them link the similarities of community groups and local governments. The activities suggested on the website highlight how teachers can support the students in becoming critical thinkers. One of the benefits of implementing group work as a practice within the classroom is that it will enable students to “acknowledge the existence of different perspectives” (Cowie, 1995, p.237).

 

It also suggests several ways these lessons can be used to assess the students’ knowledge on the topic area. One example given was making a brochure on the role of local governments and the roles and responsibilities of citizens. This resource highlights the skills that students will acquire when undertaking assessments in relation to this topic. Some of the skills will include being able to “listen to others, respond to each other’s ideas and advance their own ideas” these skills will “enable citizens to accept and fulfil their social responsibilities” 

(Board of Studies NSW, 2007, p.12).

 

References:

 

Board of Studies NSW. (2007). Human Society and Its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: Author

 

Cowie, H. (1995). Cooperative group work: A perspective from the UK. International Journal of Educational Research, 23, 227-238

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Starlight Picnic – Bondi Beach

Starlight Picnic – Bondi Beach | What does your local government do for you? Roles and responsibilities of citizens in local government. | Scoop.it
Earth Hour on the big screen at Bondi Beach Park Live music, food stalls, games, star gazing, fire-dancing and a screening of the documentary film, ‘It’s Lights Out for the Reef’, are all set for this Saturday’s free Earth Hour picnic event to be held at Bondi Beach Park from 6.00pm. Local residents and families […]
Alexandra Campbell's insight:

Implementing a global perspective will enable students to see how they can make a difference by being involved in their local community as well as international issues, as seen by the saying think globally, act locally. Applying a global perspective when discussing the roles and responsibilities of citizens will enable students to “navigate their current life-world … and understand their future life-world within an increasingly globalised environment” (Browett & Ashman, 2008, p.6).

 

One example of this, is seen within the project Earth Hour, as it started off as a project within Australia it expanded internationally. This resource is useful in highlighting to students how local councils and the public can get involved in issues that impact upon a global perspective. Many local councils such as Randwick, Woollahra and Waverley were involved in this years Earth Hour. In which they held a starlight picnic that involved a film featuring local school students and their questions about the environment posed to the various Mayors of the three councils (Earth Hour, 2014). Furthering the notion how acting in a local realm can impact on a global sphere.  

 

An assessment idea that could be used in relation to this resource could be having students form pairs or groups, analyse the history of Earth Hour and then research an environmental issue that is important to them in their local community. Once completed the students could present their project to the school community or even to a local councillor.  This assessment idea highlights how an inquiry approach can be implemented with the classroom and how it is useful for students to undertake an inquiry approach, as it “promotes critical thinking and cooperative learning (Commonwealth of Australia, 2008, p.23). The task will enable students to develop their critical thinking skills as they will need to draw conclusions from the information they have collated as well as reflecting and evaluating the information they have found (Commonwealth of Australia, 2008, p.23). Furthermore it will improve their persuasive language and oral presentation skills (Board of Studies, 2012, p 84).

 

References:

 

Board of Studies NSW. (2007). Human Society and Its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: Author

 

Browett, J., & Ashman, G. (2008). Thinking Globally: Global perspectives in the early years classroom. Carlton South: Education Services Australia

 

Commonwealth of Australia. (2008). Global Perspectives: A framework for global education in Australian Schools. Carlton South: Education Services Australia

 

Earth Hour (2014). Starlight Picnic – Bondi beach . Retrieved April 3, 2014 from http://earthhour.org.au/events/bondi-beach-park-bondi-nsw/

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Randwick City Council - Home

Randwick City Council - Home | What does your local government do for you? Roles and responsibilities of citizens in local government. | Scoop.it
Welcome to the Home page of the Randwick city council website.
Alexandra Campbell's insight:

One key characteristic within an inquiry approach is “investigating a situation” (Gilbert & Hoepper, 2014, p.46). This approach will be undertaken if teachers utilise their local councils page, as the information that students will attain will be relevant to them and their local community. The Randwick City Council website is just an example of this. Teachers can utilise these pages to illustrate to students the role local governments play in their lives as well as the roles and responsibilities of citizens in local government. This resource will be helpful to get students to start to think critically about how their local government influences them.

 

The use of this resource would be helpful in introducing this topic. Teachers could have students explore the home page of their local council, in either pairs or groups, to see what it is they do for them. Before they undertake this exercise as a class, students could brainstorm what they think local governments do and in what ways the public can get involved with their local council. After students have explored their local council homepage they can come back together as a class and reflect upon their previous brainstorming exercise and see if any more information needs to be added or revised.

 

Implementing these types of exercises aids in the students ability to be able to critically reflect and also demonstrates the importance of utilising an inquiry approach. Through using an inquiry approach teachers will “act as activator instead of a facilitator”(Arnold, 2011, as cited in Gilbert & Hoepper, 2014, pp.57-8). Furthermore having students work together as a group will enable students to “think, solve problems, integrate their knowledge and apply their skills” (Veenman, Kenter & Post, 2000, p.282).

 

References:

 

Gilbert, R. & Hoepper, B. (2014). Teaching Humanities and Social Sciences: History, geography, economics and citizenship in the Australian curriculum. 5th edition. South Melbourne: Cengage Learning Australia 

 

Veenman, S., Kenter, B,. & Post, K. (2000). Cooperative Learning in Dutch Primary Classrooms . Educational Studies, 26, 281-302

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