The essence of a healthy democracy is open dialogue about issues of public concern. An integral part of the training of young citizens, therefore, includes the discussion of social, political, environmental and economic policies which may sometimes be controversial.
The suggested pedagogies emphasise teaching strategies suitable for the crucial elements of the inquiry model that involve critical thinking, democratic decision making, and creative problem solving from an ethical stance, including pondering actions that consider the Common Good. The intention is to develop habits of mind in students that will benefit them throughout their lives when they are confronted by issues and the need to make decisions. The pedagogies also embed the General Capabilities of Critical and creative thinking, Personal and social capability and Ethical understanding.
The workshop is suitable for all Year levels 3-10, with an opportunity for teachers in Band groups or Year levels to consider suitable issues and apply strategies to their own level.
Why? - Many teachers have no background in this curriculum area, but we are all expected to help realise the National Goal that "all students will become active and informed citizens". (Melbourne Declaration, 2008, p.9)