Civics and citizenship Alicia Briody, Bronte Orreal, MakaelaTragoudistakis, Ashlee- Rae Wildin, Amber Whicker
Civics and citizenship • Year Level: Grade 6 • Learning Goals/Outcomes • The key institutions of Australia’s democratic system of government based on the Westminster system, including the monarchy, parliaments, and courts (ACHCK035)
Related Content/Skills/Processes and Values • Questioning and Research: • Develop questions and gather a range of information to investigate the society in which they live(ACHCS040) • Analysis, synthesis and interpretation: • Use and evaluate a range of information to develop a point of view (ACHCS042) • Problem solving and decision making: • Interact with others with respect, identify different points of view and share personal perspectives and opinions (ACHCS043) • Work in groups to identify issues and develop possible solutions and a plan for action using decision making processes (ACHCS044) • Communication and Reflection: • Present civics and citizenship ideas and viewpoints for a particular purpose using civics and citizenship terms and concepts (ACHCS045) • Reflect on personal roles and actions as a citizen in the school and in the community (ACHCS046)
Prior knowledge • Year five • Government and Democracy • The key values that underpin Australia’s democratic system of government (ACHCK022) • The roles and responsibilities of electors and representatives in Australia’s democracy(ACHCK023) • The key features of the Australian electoral process (ACHCK024) • Year four • The purpose of government and some familiar services provided at the local level (ACHCK011)
Goal Statement In this unit students will investigate as a whole Australia’s democratic system of government based on the Westminster system. Students will use research for and analysis of, information to employ an understanding and create an oral presentation to outline the levels of the Westminster system. Students will organise information in question and answer form to be marked by the teacher and returned in preparation for the group oral. Students have the opportunity to film their oral in small groups on an IPad, which will be summited as summative assessment.
Key questions • What is the Westminster system? • What are the roles of the ‘monarchy’, ‘parliament’ and ‘legislative’ within the Australian government? • When was the Westminster system introduced to Australia? • Why was the Westminster system introduced to Australia? • What key terms do we need to know to understand Australia’s Democratic Government?
Teacher background information • The Westminster system: • The essential features of the system are: • An executive government is determined by a democratically elected lower house. The government requires the continuing support of a majority of members of that chamber to stay in office. • The head of government is the Prime Minister, who leads a cabinet which is responsible to the lower house. • An opposition exists, led by the leader of the party or parties with the second largest number of seats in the lower house. • The presence of a constitutional monarch (where one exists) who is "above politics" and acts on the advice of the Prime Minister. • There is a career public service which impartially serves the government of the day. • The armed services are outside of politics and act on the instructions of the government. • The rule of law prevails, with an independent judiciary, subject to the Constitution.
Teacher Background Information • Legislative: Having the power to create laws • Democracy: The right of people to make decisions on how they are governed • Parliament: created under the constitution and consists of two houses (Senate and House of Representatives) • Election: A formal and organised choice by vote of a person for a political office or other position • Constitution: Provides the legislative basis for the Commonwealth parliaments law making powers, an laws made by the commonwealth parliament must be in accordance with this. • Government: The group of people with the authority to govern a country or state. • Cabinet: the committee of senior ministers responsible for controlling government policy. • Federation: In 1901 the six British colonies in Australia joined to form the Commonwealth of Australia and became the six states of the new federation.
Teacher Background information • House of Representatives (lower house): The House of Representatives (or ‘people’s house’) represents the people of the commonwealth. The party (coalition) that commands a majority of Members in the House of Representatives forms the government. • Senate (upper house): The senate reviews legislation passed in the House of Representatives and must approve it before it becomes law (Australian Electoral Commission, 2014). • Governor General: The representative in the Australian jurisdiction of the Australian Monarch appointed by the Queen. This person is the Queens representative in the commonwealth. Currently: Peter Cosgrove • Judiciary: A system of courts of law for the administration of justice • Monarchy: the form of government that is rules by a Monarch. Currently: Queen Elizabeth II • Prime minister: The head of an elected government, the principal minster of a sovereign or state. Currently: Tony Abbott
Reference list Australian Government. (2014). The Australian Government. Retrieved from, http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/our-government/australian-government Amlnsw. (2009). The Australian constitution. Retrieved from, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciEjlonK1JI Commonwealth of Australia. (2014). Welcome to the parliament of Australia. Retrieved from, http://www.aph.gov.au/ Dudgeon, P, & Hincks, P. (2010). Democracy rules. Retrieved from, http://www.aec.gov.au/ Barwick, J, & Barwick, J. (2002). Who’s who in politics. Victoria, Australia: Heinemann Library Wright, R. (Parliament of Victoria). (2010). What is the Westminster system?. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svMxNNBNisQ Zondle. (2014). Zondle. Retrieved from, https://www.zondle.com/publicPages/welcome.aspx Australian-government-content-page | australia.gov.au australia.gov.au