Citizenship

Growing up and going to school in Regina, I did not realize until now that I had citizenship education throughout both my elementary school and high school careers. The first kind of citizen is labeled the ‘Personally responsible’ citizen, which can be described as a person who takes care and helps ones own community and keeping themselves in good light. Throughout elementary school I can remember countless examples of how this was taught to us, even if not outright. We had many days a year when we would go and help clean up the schoolyard and streets surrounding the school, where we would have bottle drives to collect recycling and donate the money to a charity such as the Z99 Neonatal event. We constantly learned about being responsible for ones self and taking ownership of our own actions and how those actions would come to effect our friends and others that we knew around the school or community. The second kind of citizen is the ‘participatory’ citizen which can be described as someone who someone who attends and participates in community events, social or otherwise. I can recognize this citizen as well in both my elementary and high school years, in all of my schooling everyone had the opportunity to be part of groups such as the SRC (student representative council) to help plan and meet about school events or issues, in elementary as well we had the Safety patrol which helped students to cross the streets after school safely. Another way I can reflect on this type of citizenship education is when we would have student elections, in high school we would vote on many things throughout the year but I think the biggest vote that we had in my grades 9-12 was when we had a grade 12 student wide election for who would become valedictorian of our graduating class. It started with nominations on ballets and then we proceeded with two other votes to finally decide who would represent our 2017 class.

The third type of citizen is the ‘justice oriented’ citizen which sadly I did not receive education about in my elementary or high school years, save for a week in my grade five class with Mr. Johnson. In this week we were learning about the environment and how each of us was positively and negatively impacting our Eco system. We found out our own carbon footprints that we as individuals were creating as well as our carbon footprint as a class and as a school. Mr. Johnson led deep discussions (well deep for 10-11 year olds) about how this would come to effect our planet and how we could reduce our own mark. We discussed how we could educate others and get more involved in the cause of climate change and how it would impact everyone and everything we knew and why this was happening to our planet. Other than this one unit I do not recollect any other times in my schooling when we were taught to be justice oriented citizens.

2 thoughts on “Citizenship

  1. Hey Jessica,

    I was also unaware that I had received any sort of citizenship based education. Thus, after learning about citizenship and reflecting at examples of it in my own education was interesting. I really liked the example of justice orientated citizenship you used in your grade five class. I think that’s a really important issue for students to be active in helping solve and looking deeper into. I’ll be keeping it in mind for my own future classroom.

    Great post!

    Like

  2. Hey Jessica,

    It sounds like we experienced similarities in regard to our citizenship education. I too had a lot of focus on participatory and personally responsible citizenship education. We spent a lot of time doing bake sales, bottle drives, etc. to donate to various charities and causes without ever really being given the opportunity to talk about the meaning behind our actions, or the time to form our own thoughts and opinions on the matter.

    Like

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