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Secondary students urged to Have Their Say

17 May 2005

Secondary students urged to Have Their Say in the classroom

A teaching resource about civic issues has been developed to help students aged 13 to 15 become more aware of and involved in local government.

Social Studies teachers at Christchurch high schools have been encouraged to order the Have Your Say resource through the Education and Promotion Coordinator at the Christchurch City Council. It can also be downloaded via the online Resource Catalogue for Schools, under Governance at www.ccc.govt.nz/publications/ResourceCatalogueForSchools/

"Giving students experience in having their say in a classroom situation about local government issues will encourage them not to be intimidated by the process," says Kerry Everingham, Education and Promotion Coordinator for the CCC. "It should set them on a path to being active citizens."

The resource's aim is to create a better understanding of local government and to encourage students to engage with and have input into local government issues and the development of the city as a good place to live, work and play.

A number of Christchurch educators have assisted in and supported the development of this resource. "Have Your Say certainly fills a gap on a very important topic, where few resources currently exist," says Murray Fastier, Principal Social Science Lecturer at the College of Education. "I'm confident that it will be valued by teachers and that students will find many of the tasks included stimulating and engaging."

As they work through the resource, students develop skills in social decision-making and values exploration. They also develop understanding about how systems of government are organised locally and how effects their daily lives.

Activities in the resource include opportunities to comment on street developments within their school's community, writing election candidate profiles and examining case studies of past planning decisions - such as the spirited 1980s debate about whether to allow a skytower to be built in Victoria Square.

ENDS

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