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Students as Citizens

Students as Citizens.

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Students as Citizens

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  1. Students as Citizens “We believe that education is about making young people grow in confidence and self-esteem, in a safe, loving and welcoming environment. School is about getting an education -and that's important but it's also about relationships, friendships, being valued and of course, learning together. An important part of a child's success at school is for them to feel and be included.” (Parents for Inclusion: www.parentsforinclusion.org) TheaNissen, Victoria Elliott, Veronica Grocott, Erin Nixon

  2. Rationale We believe citizenship is at the foundation of building a community of learners in the classroom. In order to develop inclusion students need explicit educational instruction that helps them become active contributors that are both respectful and inquisitive. The sample programs provided here help to foster students belief in their power to make a difference, regardless of circumstance; builds persistence and perseverance and allows them to internalize personal values and sense of self worth. The two programs we have focused on are 6 Pillars of Character and Our Hidden Heroes. The 6 Pillars of Character is a clear and precise program that includes universal values with easy classroom application. Our Hidden Heroes program is developed locally and is action based and thus supports current educational pedagogies. It is our strong belief that in order to foster attachment in the classroom teachers must be willing to address controversial and emotional issues that are at the core of discrimination and social justice. Establishing core values and practices we hope to exhibit in our classrooms serves as the base from which attachment and relationships are born. Teaching good citizenship is beneficial to all learners. Citizenship education will help teach societal norms and culture that aid in celebrating the diverse backgrounds from which all students come. The action based approach of these programs lends itself to all learning styles and abilities. We believe that students will become engaged in this material because it is relevant to their lives and has far reaching applications. “There lives in each of us a hero awaiting the call to action” ~ H. Jasckson Brown, Jr.

  3. Citizenship & IRPs • The 3 “Tenants of Learning” • Learning requires the active participation of the student. • People learn in a variety of ways and at different rates. • Learning is both an individual and a group process. • Learning is most effective when students reflect on the process of learning and set goals for improvement. • Social Studies K-7 overviewParticipation in social studies encourages and enables students to; • Understand and prepare to exercise their roles, rights, and responsibilities within their family, the community, Canada and the world. • Demonstrate respect for human equality and cultural diversity. • Understand and appreciate world events both historical and current. • Develop the skills and attitudes necessary to become thoughtful, active participants in their communities and global citizens. http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/irp/ssk7_orient.pdf

  4. The Inclusive ClassroomUnderstanding Inclusion is an essential part of creating strong citizens. An inclusive classroom stresses the importance of an environment free from discrimination and segregation. I believe that creating an inclusive classroom is a detrimental part of teaching today. Inclusive education is about the education of all children, no matter what their ability in mainstream schools. Its focus is to meet the needs of children with disabilities, special educational needs, behavioral issues, and specific physical, cognitive, or emotional needs. Inclusive classroom are: flexible, adaptable, supportive, positive, respectful & team based. An important part of inclusion is that all students fully participate in classroom activities, are actively engaged, and each individual respects their own rights as well as the rights of their peers. In order to create an inclusive classroom, it is important for a teacher to design an environment where all students are able to participate. It is important for students to develop social skills. Working in groups where diversity is encouraged, students will learn not only to work with others, but how to become good listeners, dependable, and active participant in the learning of their self and their peers. Exclusion causes unhealthy, violent reactions from students within schools. Often times this leads to bullying. Students are excluded due to: race, culture, religion, gender, social class, and physical and developmental disabilities. When students are given an opportunity to work in a community with members from all of these groups, healthy relationships are created and incidents of bullying occur less frequently.

  5. 6 Pillars of Character

  6. The 6 Pillars of Citizenship Defined • Trustworthiness • Be honest • Don’t deceive, cheat or steal • Be reliable — do what you say you’ll do • Have the courage to do the right thing • Build a good reputation • Be loyal — stand by your family, friends and country • Respect • Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule • Be tolerant of differences • Use good manners, not bad language • Be considerate of the feelings of others • Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone • Deal peacefully with anger, insults and disagreements • Responsibility • Do what you are supposed to do • Persevere: keep on trying! • Always do your best • Use self-control • Be self-disciplined • Think before you act — consider the consequences • Be accountable for your choices • Fairness • Play by the rules • Take turns and share • Be open-minded; listen to others • Don’t take advantage of others • Don’t blame others carelessly • Caring • Be kind • Be compassionate and show you care • Express gratitude • Forgive others • Help people in need • Citizenship • Do your share to make your school and community better • Cooperate • Get involved in community affairs • Stay informed; vote • Be a good neighbor • Obey laws and rules • Respect authority • Protect the environment Adapted from http://charactercounts.org/sixpillars.html

  7. Our Hidden Heroes Built on the theme of empowerment, motivating ordinary students to take small positive actions that make a difference in their lives or the lives of the people around them. Program encourages participants to notice and acknowledge other role models who are doing the same. Encourages celebration and recognition of peers for their unique and diverse strengths and contributions Helps students to learn and appreciate what impact they can have on improving their world. Hidden Heroes can be a friend a family member, a coach, a mentor, or anyone that makes a positive difference in someone’s life.

  8. Key Principles of Hidden Heroes • Democratic Rights and Responsibilities • Student created Rules of Conduct (classroom standards) • Abide by the rules and accept consequences if broken • Practice acts of selflessness (help each other out) • Be willing to take responsibility for maintaining AND improving personal and public space • Peaceful Conflict Resolution: • presenting views/arguments respectfully “I feel statements” • Consider other peoples views/perspectives • Develop problem solving strategies • Use effective listening skills • Valuing Diversity and Defending Human Rights • Treat classmates, staff, family and friends Fairly • Celebrate differences in language, accent, dress, and actions of others. • Work and interact with a variety of classmates • Contributing to school and classroom community • Be friendly and kind • Be willing to help others • Give encouragement and praise • Be an active participant • Contribute, explain and elaborate on ideas “I can statements” Adapted from www.ourhiddenheroes.org

  9. What a Classroom of Citizens Looks Like An Inclusive Teacher...Takes on the challenge of a multi-level classroom.Ever learning new teaching techniques.Accepts each child for where he/she is in life.Changes teaching style to match individual learning styles.Has heart!Expects the best each child can be and aims high!Realizes all children are gifted- and it's important to identify, recognize and  highlight those individual gifts! • An Included Child...Challenged to be a shining star.H as heart!Improves interpersonal relationships.Learns to the best of his/her ability.Dares to dream of friendships and the future!

  10. Strategies for Teaching Citizenship • Development of Key Vocabulary • Mnemonic devices to remember Values, Colour association with 6 Pillars • Dramatic Role Play • Social scenarios, Mock “town council” – perspective building • Literature Tie-ins (please see Appendix A for book list) • Students created fables/legends based on their hidden hero • Picture prediction – what is happening? How are the characters feeling? • Peer Mentors • Lower grade level buddies for learning • High school students as mentors • Classroom Meetings • Discussion of any problems the class is facing (ie Bullying) • Allows students to practice appropriate communication and conflict resolution skills – taking turns talking, using I feel statements • Personal Values Development • What’s unique about you Survey, Collage –self, community, goals

  11. Strategies for Teaching Citizenship • Study of Outstanding Global Citizens • Stories of inspiration – local and international (ie: Craig Kielburger, Dalai Lama, Terry Fox, Ryan Hreljac (Ryan’s Well) • Philanthropy Projects • Toy/school supply drives, Food bank donations, Operation Shoebox, 30 hour Famine, Coats for Kids, Terry Fox run…. • Have Students select a project of their choice to support and develop an action plan for contributions. • Environmental Stewardship • Student run school recycling programs, clean up programs, Earth Day celebrations • Class Presentation • Once the students have completed the program have them teach to younger grades. • Support for Already Established Awareness Days • Anti bullying, Earth Day, Universal Children’ Day, Remembrance Day. • Comparing Super Heroes with Everyday Heroes • Discussion of Local interest stories in the news • Highlight key community members – police, fire department, block parents… • Reflective Writing/ Recognition • “I noticed … doing….” , Identifying the “heroes” in your life, classroom honour celebration

  12. Activities for teaching Citizenship • Random acts of Citizenship • After an introduction to each of the 6 Pillars, students will participate in recognizing their peers efforts to be model citizens • For 6 months, each month will be identified by a Colour (connects to a Pillar) • Students will be given clothes pins with which they can reward “random acts of citizenship”  acts that demonstrate their peers commitment to the Focus Pillar. • After the 6 months: Students will continue activity by recognizing their peers with a clothes pin from ANY of the Pillars.

  13. Activities for Teaching Citizenship • Passport to Citizenship • At the beginning of the year/term students will receive (make) a passport booklet. • A visual timeline will be created showing the progression of Citizenship Values. ** Important for helping students to visualize where they are going and what the end goal is. • Idea: Add coloured magnets that move around the timeline as you are addressing each issue (recognizing that the focus may be particular but the skills are not developed isolation) • As the class explores each Citizenship Theme they will be awarded achievement stamps for their passport. • Students will self assess their contributions to the class and the community at large. They will lead a conference with their teacher in which they demonstrate their understanding by showing evidence of their actions and acquired attitudes. • This activity also lends itself to peer evaluation and recognition.

  14. How citizenship creates Acceptance of… Sense of Belonging in the Classroom and School

  15. Resources for Classroom Use 6 Pillars – Character Counts Program Website http://charactercounts.org/sixpillars.html Our Hidden Heroes Program Website http://www.ourhiddenheroes.org/ V.I.P – Values, Influences & Peers. Program A collaborative program generally run by a local police department http://www.police.kingston.on.ca/vip.htm

  16. Be Inclusive, Teach Inclusion "No one is born a good citizen; no nation is born a democracy. Rather, both are processes that continue to evolve over a lifetime. Young people must be included from birth. A society that cuts off from its youth severs its lifeline." -- Kofi Annan

  17. Appendix AA Sampling of Books for Citizenship Building Hidden Heroes Program • The Giving Tree • One of Each • I like Me! • It’s Okay to be Different • Mean Mean Maureen Green • Enemy Pie • Everybody Bakes Bread • Number the Stars • Nothing Wrong with a Three-legged Dog • The Keeping Quilt • Dear Children of the Earth • The Great Kapok Tree • 6 Pillars of Character • TheGolden Rule • Edward Fudwupper Fibbed Big. • The Wolf who Cried Boy • If the World Were Blind: a book about judgment and prejudice • My Secret Bully • What’s With This Room? • The Pigeon Wants a Puppy. • It’s Not Fair! • Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Day. • Just Kidding. • Terry Fox: A Story of Hope. • The Lorax Created by the Hidden Heroes Education Society Created by A Professional Partnership in SD 71

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