Guidelines for civics and citizenship educational
How to participate | Who
People in schools and their community may be able to develop
more effective relationships to support teaching about civics
and citizenship. Specialists from the community can assist
teachers teach curriculum topics such as 'resources and economic
activities' by studying the national budget, the school budget
and the personal budget. Current MPs, former MPs, financial
advisers and advocates of public interest programmes are amongst
those who might be welcome in support of a teacher's classroom
Social studies curriculum
Schools have a role to play in teaching about people and
their place in society, the way society is organised and organises
itself, commonalities and differences between cultural groups,
governance and management, and the interaction between members
The New Zealand social studies curriculum says schools can
teach about the allocation and management of resources within
a society. Students study the ways in which "economic
systems are constructed to manage economic activities and
will find out how these systems can create opportunities and
constraints for particular individuals, groups, enterprises
and nations." Relevant concepts include sustainability,
money systems, markets, needs, wants, work, consumption, opportunity
cost, allocation, taxation,and interdependence.
The curriculum nominates perspectives it considers are integral
to a balanced programme in social studies: bicultural; multicultural;
gender; current issues; the future. Social studies processes
are inquiry; values exploration; and social decisionmaking.
The essential skills the New Zealand curriculum framework
wants developed and practised through the social studies processes
are communication, numeracy, information, problem-solving,
self-management and competitive, social and co-operative,
physical, work and study skills.
Specialists outside the school can help teachers, parents
and students with aspects of these social studies. These specialists
may include parents, current or former members of Parliament,
financial advisers or others with appropriate skills.
Fresh initiatives could assist in matching the needs of
the school community with the availability of community specialists.
Teachers, parents, students and boards of trustees may each
have different needs that community specialists about Parliament,
government, law and finance may offer.
Guidelines, contracts and other processes may assist teachers
and local specialists work together to assist students.
How to participate
An impression is abroad that some schools may want more
outside speakers but cannot attract them, and outsiders may
want to help, but cannot easily connect. The two sides seem
to include some that are unsure of how to manage the development
and maintenance of a mutually beneficial relationship.
The DecisionMaker publisher, in consultation with individuals
and organisations, is facilitating the communication and if
necessary, development, of helpful processes.
These processes might assist teachers gain access to the
wealth of experience local specialists could give on a one-off
or continuing basis for the classroom.
Visitors to the school and the teachers could reasonably
- Clarity of objective;
- Time available to communicate;
- Skill in assisting teachers in an education setting;
- Conformity to agreed ethical codes.
There may be some processes that are particular to a group
e.g. an MP, a financial adviser and parents might each
enter the school on a different basis.
Students, social studies and other specialist teachers,
heads of departments, principals and school trustees, also
may have differing considerations. Guidelines, and contracts,
Who should participate?
Long-standing conventions, and specialist processes, link
parents and schools. But more might be achieved in specialist
programmes, such as those on civics and citizenship. This
is why the DecisionMaker publisher Asia Pacific Economic
News Ltd (APEN) is seeking feedback from parents. It facilitates
ways in which parents can be involved in the social studies
programme it has published, particularly:
- as participants in school and community projects; and
- as sources of information, experience and advice.
Worksheet exercises are included on family backgrounds
students will explore relevant aspects of their parents' and
grandparents' lives, opening issues up for each that could
be further explored and lead to savings and investment action.
A further way to involve parents is to include relevant
information in newsletters. Parents could also be part of
meetings with larger groups. Formal reports could be sent
to community groups. Parents are referred to the website.
This kind of parent involvement is warmly endorsed in
the Australian curriculum, and is also encouraged
in New Zealand.
Budget issues with their national, local and personal
illustrations may be communicated more effectively with
the assistance of financial advisers be they financial
planners, lawyers or business managers. Conventions for involving
such people in the school community are less well developed
than those for parents. So the DecisionMaker publisher, who
has produced the Planning Pays Off! as well
as the Guide to Parliament and Government titles, has
opened discussion with the specialists involved in these editions
to establish whether guidelines and contracts need to be developed
to link schools, financial advisers and sponsors. Join the
DecisionMaker Financial Educational Adviser's Accreditation
Schedule by registering your interest located in the right-hand
We are considering a training manual for the financial adviser
on how to do a presentation in schools and elsewhere and also
a presentation that is tailor-made for the financial adviser
to use in both schools and with other audiences. We would
appreciate having feedback so that we can gauge the market
demand. Register your interest in obtaining a training manual
by clicking in the right-hand box.
Current and former Parliamentarians
People from Parliament have experiences that can be shared
with school communities. Specialist processes to make and
sustain this dialogue may also be mutually beneficial, and
DecisionMaker discussions are also in the pipeline to help
the different interests involved.
It may well be that you are unable to become involved in
the capacities above. We do however still welcome your participation
and assistance by way of your evaluation of the DecisionMaker
Guide to Parliament and Government resources, in your
capacity as a teacher in particular.
Teachers who would welcome assistance from a current or former
member of Parliament, or a financial adviser may register
their interest here:
DecisionMaker Guide to Parliament and Government
Planning Pays Off!
Asia Pacific Economic News Ltd