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John Simkin

(14) Special Projects

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As you would have seen from the work plan, I have put members down for Special Projects. This was my way of explaining to Socrates how you will be spending your time over the three years of the project. Several members have emailed me with details of what you would like to do in these “Special Projects”. I think it would be a good idea to post it on the Forum so other members know what you intend to do. It might also give members good ideas that they might want to do as a “Special Project”.

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Here's the post I put out on the Developing a Citizenship Course sub-forum:

John's asked me about any special projects Kalmar could be involved in. Here's one idea:

Swedish schools are very active when it comes to democratic participation in decision-making - at all levels of the system. The first parents' evening at our little daughter's day nursery took up, for example, the question of how exactly we can organise ourselves so that 18-month old babies have a say in the way the day nursery is organised! As soon as the children start school (at the age of 7), each class elects a 'Class Council', and also representatives to the 'School Council'. There are parental representatives on all governing bodies, from day nursery right through to sixth-form college too.

What about a documentary film about this system from Sweden? It would be a relatively easy matter to interview various people involved in this, including the local politicians on the Education Committee of the local council (education's run locally in Sweden). It could also be interesting to film a couple of meetings of Class Councils and School Councils at various levels to hear what actually goes on at them.

There's a value in these for Swedish pupils - at least to have something to compare the practice in their particular school with. They could also be an interesting input from the Project web site for teachers and pupils in other European countries too.

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John's asked me about any special projects Kalmar could be involved in. Here's one idea:

Swedish schools are very active when it comes to democratic participation in decision-making - at all levels of the system. The first parents' evening at our little daughter's day nursery took up, for example, the question of how exactly we can organise ourselves so that 18-month old babies have a say in the way the day nursery is organised! As soon as the children start school (at the age of 7), each class elects a 'Class Council', and also representatives to the 'School Council'. There are parental representatives on all governing bodies, from day nursery right through to sixth-form college too.

What about a documentary film about this system from Sweden? It would be a relatively easy matter to interview various people involved in this, including the local politicians on the Education Committee of the local council (education's run locally in Sweden). It could also be interesting to film a couple of meetings of Class Councils and School Councils at various levels to hear what actually goes on at them.

There's a value in these for Swedish pupils - at least to have something to compare the practice in their particular school with. They could also be an interesting input from the Project web site for teachers and pupils in other European countries too.

That is a great idea. Andy Schofield, head of Varndean School, and head of our project, is one of the few schools in the UK to have student representatives on the school governing council. The idea is based on what is taking place in South Africa. Maybe, Andy could make a documentary film on this?

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Here's the post I put out on the Developing a Citizenship Course sub-forum:

John's asked me about any special projects Kalmar could be involved in. Here's one idea:

Swedish schools are very active when it comes to democratic participation in decision-making - at all levels of the system. The first parents' evening at our little daughter's day nursery took up, for example, the question of how exactly we can organise ourselves so that 18-month old babies have a say in the way the day nursery is organised! As soon as the children start school (at the age of 7), each class elects a 'Class Council', and also representatives to the 'School Council'. There are parental representatives on all governing bodies, from day nursery right through to sixth-form college too.

What about a documentary film about this system from Sweden? It would be a relatively easy matter to interview various people involved in this, including the local politicians on the Education Committee of the local council (education's run locally in Sweden). It could also be interesting to film a couple of meetings of Class Councils and School Councils at various levels to hear what actually goes on at them.

There's a value in these for Swedish pupils - at least to have something to compare the practice in their particular school with. They could also be an interesting input from the Project web site for teachers and pupils in other European countries too.

It could be an interesting area to investigate. Democratic participation in decision-making at schools.

Here in Spain, law is quite progressive: teachers, students and parents participate in the School Council who has the upper hand in the most important decisions. Unfortunately, lack of participation characterizes parents and students' and ,increasingly, teachers' attitude.

My special project is focused on setting up a web site on History of Human Rights. I will deal with the topic from a historical point of view and will focus on Contemporary History, although I would like to introduce some resources on Ancient Athens. As you can see, it is still a quite vague idea that I hope to make more concrete in the next future.

Edited by Juan Carlos

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John,

On the allocated days for special projects on citizenship education I could: i) write a case-study on "Science for Citizenship", or ii) built a web-site in English with some interactive activities for Citizenship Education (similar to the BioQuest site - http://nonio.eses.pt/bioquest/ - with decision-making activities about different controversial issues like "Stem cells in research and medicine", "Environmental and social impacts of big water dams", etc.). What do you think about these hypothesis?

In Portugal we also have some good experiences of democratic participation in decision-making at schools involving teachers and students.

Pedro

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I've just picked up the February Newsletter from the day nursery our little one goes to and it had the following passage in it, which is typical of the Swedish school system:

"We have now built four project groups within the Vasa school network (comprising 3 different units which handle education for children from the age of 12 months up to the age of 16). These groups will work on individual development plans, the development of reading and language, socio-emotional training and participation/pupil democracy. The aim is to write a common statement of goals in these areas for all the schools in the network."

There are networks like these all over the place, and it ought to be fairly easy to include inputs from the discussions which lead to established policies in a special project for the Citizenship project.

Edited by David Richardson

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