Becoming Citizens

This week I have been reflecting how to use digital technologies to engage my students in participating in deliberative processes.  According to Barber and Mourshed, 2007 (cited in Fonseca & Bujanda, 2011, p. 259), I need to first begin with reflecting upon the weaknesses in my own teaching, have access to best practices and I need to be motivated to adopt changes.  “These elements have proven to be prerequisites for teacher change and can be achieved in the context of a school culture that enables teachers to learn from each other, engage in teamwork, and practice coaching on a regular basis.” (Fonseca & Bujanda, 2011, p. 259).

How can I best orchestrate an effective learning process and begin to develop the skills required for my students to take a participatory role in their community?  Currently our town is looking at what to do with the old pool space in the original recreation centre.  They have established a blog, EngageCanmore.ca to invite participation of the entire community.  I’m currently reflecting on how to engage my students in this community dialogue and help them see themselves as participatory citizens.  “…the main purpose of integrating digital technologies into citizenship education programs is to offer students opportunities to broaden and enrich children’s identities and actions as citizens. “ (Fonseca & Bujanda, 2011, p. 249).

Communication students interviewed as part of a study exploring the opportunities and challenges for journalism and news in participatory democracy mentioned, “that the public should be involved, contribute to civic dialogue, provide feedback, and report alongside journalists.” (Mihailidis & Shumow, 2011, p. 43).  So should our students, regardless of age.  Our goal is to foster a “commitment toward community, increased ability to listen and participate in dialogue, and increased ability to relate and cooperate with others.” (Fonseca & Bujanda, 2011, p. 254).  Digital technologies further enable children’s voices to be heard.

References

Fonseca, C., & Bujanda, M. (2011). Promoting children’s capacities for active and deliberative citizenship with digital technologies: the CADE Project in Costa Rica. Annals of The American Academy Of Political & Social Science, 633(1), 243-262.  Retrieved from: http://ezproxy.lib.ucalgary.ca:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=poh&AN=57204687&site=ehost-live

Mihailidis, P., & Shumow, M. (2011). Theorizing journalism education, citizenship, and new media Technologies in a Global Media Age. Taiwan Journal Of Democracy7(2), 27-47.  Retrieved from:  http://ezproxy.lib.ucalgary.ca:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=poh&AN=71492333&site=ehost-live

Advertisements

One thought on “Becoming Citizens

  1. Your statement that “digital technologies further enable children’s voices to be heard” is exactly how I am beginning to feel. Digital technology is not essential for teaching children about their civic participation but it allows for a much safer mode and environment (when effectively scaffolded and monitored) of exploring community and global issues. Your question, “How can I best orchestrate an effective learning process and begin to develop the skills required for my students to take a participatory role in their community?” is important and one that is c urrently being explored while students are already spearheading the online excavations. As Fonseca & Bujanda (2011, p. 259) explain, some of the most complex problems have to do with training educators with technological competencies, “developing frameworks for and competencies of teachers or facilitators that will enable them to generate those learning outcomes in a reliable way in many settings, in dissimilar circumstances, and with little supervision.”
    I means teachers need to practice what they preach (student centered learning) and truly become the students once more. It means a whole lot of egos and competitions breaking down to accept what others have to offer in relation to technological learning and experiences, the good, the bad and the ugly, and being honest about our failures and successes with our learning to each other. And it means school leadership being committed to further studies and research on training and facilitating teacher learning scaffolding for success and not setting them up for failure.

    Reference:

    Fonseca, C., & Bujanda, M. (2011). Promoting children’s capacities for active and deliberative citizenship with digital technologies: the CADE Project in Costa Rica. Annals of The American Academy Of Political & Social Science, 633(1), 243-262.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s