Guidelines for Civics and Citizenship Educational Advisers
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 programme.
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 of society.
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.
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 expect:
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, may help.
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:
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
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
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.
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:
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