AFSSSE Discovering Democracy Discussion Forum


6 March to 10 March 2000

QUESTION 1

HOW DO I PLAN A UNIT OF WORK USING THE DISCOVERING DEMOCRACY MATERIALS?

Stimulus Material to start discussion:

The ideas expressed below have been printed by kind permission from Christine McMulkin, District Support Officer, Education Department of WA.

USING DD MATERIALS: A MODEL FOR PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT

There are many possible approaches to using the DD materials, below is one model which teachers may find useful in breaking down the learning steps as they plan and program for a unit of work.

STEP 1

Consider your assessment strategy. Will it be ongoing, formative, varied and open ended so that it applies to all levels of achievement? Teachers may also need to reflect on the outcomes that they will be focussing upon in their unit of work.

STEP 2

Develop focus questions. In conjunction with the above teachers may introduce the area of study in the form of a series of focus questions such as "Who were the Chartists?" "How can a study of their values assist us today?" Through strategies such as brainstorming and concept mapping, the teacher is able to discover something about what the students know, and where their interests lie.

STEP 3

Planning investigations. Students will see how the questions for investigation are important in preparing for an active citizenship outcome. The preparation of a submission will help relate the learning to the real world and connect the result to a real audience.

STEP 4

Conducting Investigations. Students may negotiate focus areas of interests connected to the main theme. Structured overviews and group sharing of tasks and learning experiences may assist students in conducting their investigations. Students and teachers should cooperate in devising activities that promote the skill of social inquiry and conceptual development appropriate to student ability. These may vary from simple recounts to complex expositions.

STEP 5

Processing and interpreting. Students refer to the information recorded and gathered. The teacher facilitates the drawing of conclusions and relating back to original hypothesis (if students cannot do this for themselves). Students decide how to communicate their conclusions to the local MP.

STEP 6

Evaluating and applying findings. Students receive feedback on their presentations. They may then work through local newspapers and community groups with their ideas. Students will thus develop understandings about attitudes to and values of democratic process.


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