This term on Mondays I teach a Big Module called Take Action with Bryce and Martin. We have joined our subject areas of Social Sciences, PE/Health and Technology around the ideas each area has on taking action to influence society. Monday this week was the best day’s teaching I have ever had on developing students’ citizenship. There were aspects of digital citizenship, elections and other forms of taking action on issues in society.
Over the last few weeks we have developed their understanding of these ideas through a series of workshops and they have now chosen issues they are interested in pursuing. Last week they had started exploring the evidence for why these issues are important to take action on.
Block 1 this week saw Martin telling the students about an issue he had discovered online called Dihydrogen Monoxide. He shared the website http://www.dhmo.org/ with the students and had them working in pairs to explore this and see if they felt it was an issue worth investigating. Some students were quite concerned and saying that we need to take action on this until a couple of astute students informed the class that Dihydrogen Monoxide is simply H20 – water. The students were then introduced to the CRAP test
and had to go back over the evidence they had collected on their issue and give it the crap test.
Block 2 was our Upper Harbour Candidates meeting. All the candidates for the upcoming election in our area were there and had to answer some tough student questions.
It was a great event (as captured in this newspaper article) and afterwards many students stayed behind to ask more questions.
The last block of the day was about generating possible solutions/actions/products in response to the issue they have been investigating. We are trying to help them see that citizenship is about taking an active role in society and this block really started that learning. Students were all engaged in thinking about what actions would suit their chosen issue. By the end of the day all students had started generating relevant actions and some had reached the target of 10 possibilities. Next week will be about refining these down to those they will act upon and planning them out to get started.
Overall, an incredible day where students saw that school isn’t about making them be good citizens when they leave school but about being citizens now.