John Simkin Posted May 21, 2005 Share Posted May 21, 2005 I thought it might be worthwhile to start a discussion on what would make a good citizenship course. In my view the main objective of such a course would be to encourage young people to become fully functioning citizens. I think this could be done in several different ways. The course must have an historical element. It is very important that young people have an understanding of how people obtained the vote. It is especially important they know why some people tried to prevent the majority from having these rights. Linked to this is having information on how legislation changed after the introduction of democracy. The students should also study the sociology of voting. This would include the reasons why some people do not vote and the consequences of this for society. For example, the tendency of political parties to ignore the opinions of those sections of the community who appear to be apathetic about politics. This part of the course would also look at the role of pressure groups in society. The most important aspect of the course would be activities designed to encourage the students to become active in their community. I think this is the best way to show students the importance of politics. One aspect of this would be to get the students to come up with some ideas on how they could improve the quality of their local community. They could then form groups based round these different issues. For example, they might come up with the idea that the community needs a youth club. The teacher’s role would be to help them to develop a campaign to get this facility. Even if they fail in obtaining their objective, they will get important insights into the way the political system works. It is important that the students do not see politics as a purely selfish instinct. Another aspect of the course would be for the students to carry out a survey to discover what older members of the community would like to have changed. After the results of the survey are analysed, a list of possible campaigns would be drawn up. Students would then opt to join one of these projects. Each one of these campaigns would have its own website. This will enable the students to chart their activities and to communicate the progress they have made in obtaining their objectives to the wider community. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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