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Document 5:
An outline scoping document

1 It has been suggested it would be useful to have a scoping document shortly after the forthcoming election. As a very first step CCE has produced an outline simply setting out a range of activities which might usefully be amongst those included – to which people in the embryonic network have begun to add value. At this stage CCE would welcome any further comments, possibly offering amendments, additions or deletions to the following draft introduction and aims.
2 Citizenship education can be delivered in traditional and modern ways – in schools and in the community, through publications and face to face, and increasingly through e-government. It can be standalone and through other subjects, such as social studies and values education. Early action should follow the August 2005 recommendations to Parliament of the Barnett and Dunne committees, and other citizenship education initiatives.
3 New Zealand is a pluralist democracy with a small and relatively well educated population, good communications and an active media. We have a number of loosely defined cultural communities, and a stream of immigrants, all contributing to our inclusive national identity. Though other countries will have different priorities, the broad aim of citizenship in this country should be:
4 To explain, especially to the young and recent arrivals, the structures and procedures of Parliament, the law, central and local government
5 To make available appropriate teaching materials geared to general and specific audiences, likewise lectures or courses, all emphasizing the importance and benefits of active participation in the political process: how our society works
6 To promote lectures, courses, programmes or debates on relevant topics, not only in schools or other educational establishments but also in local communities, sporting, church and service groups, NGOs and local bodies
7 To stimulate widespread discussion of:
8 The qualities expected of a good citizen, and the role of the citizen in democracy
9 The issues involved in good governance, responsibility and accountability
10 Current affairs, both domestic and international, with the aim of developing a better informed electorate.
11 More specifically, it will be important:
12 To assist education authorities with the provision of “civics” courses in schools
13 To develop professional skills in citizenship education of current and future teachers
14 To maximize opportunities for teachers and students to learn about citizenship by study and by doing
15 To provide opportunities for those who will be sponsoring or leading discussion in other institutions to exchange views on effective methods
16 To keep up to date with what might be called international best practice in this field
17 To take steps to increase the capacity of central and local government to involve citizens in decision-making processes
18 To encourage citizens to make known their need for information and assistance, and to develop appropriate channels
19 To maximize the use of e-government services to foster such exchanges
20 To stimulate research in particular areas.

21 The way ahead
In particular, in respect of citizenship education, we wonder what the Ministry of Education’s leadership would feel about being identified as those who might, after this election, bring together appropriate people around the proposed scoping document, to advance citizenship education policies for New Zealand. Such people might be involved in any one of a number of institutions and groups.

22 CCE work programme
The Centre for Citizenship Education is itself a not-for-profit, Wellington-based NGO. It can provide advice or assistance to government institutions and local bodies (especially those concerned with immigrants, refugees, the welfare of minority communities or general and local elections) as well as to education authorities and a variety of other organisations. It can arrange for the publication of appropriate material on paper, online or in selected other media as required. It maintains a website http://www.decisionmaker.co.nz/cce/indexcce.html which offers useful materials, such as on policy and practice. It welcomes partnerships to develop existing and new citizenship education publications, policies and professional development. It has links with similar institutions overseas.

Updated, 16 August 2005

 

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