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Make connections to students’ lives

Students’ participation and understanding in senior social studies is enhanced when teachers connect the content of learning to their lives (Social Sciences BES, p.56).

Methods that engage | Communications technologies | DIL | Resources

Think about

Who are my students? Consider age, gender, ethnicity, ability to self-manage, their personal interests and desire to be engaged with their communities.

Connect social studies achievement objectives to relevant content:

Example of AOs and possible content

Level 6 AO 1: Understand how individuals, groups, and institutions work to promote social justice and human rights.

Possible content

  • Local equity issues
  • Social action in support of an existing agency like youth pay rates
  • 40 Hour Famine
  • Gender in the workplace – Will it block or enable me?

Level 7 AO1: Understand how communities and nations meet their responsibilities and exercise their rights in local, national, and global contexts.

Possible content

  • Foreshore and seabed
  • A current issue – Mining schedule 4 – do I worry?
  • Submissions of local zoning changes – there goes my neighbourhood

Level 8 AO1: Understand how policy changes are influenced by and impact on the rights, roles, and responsibilities of individuals and communities.

Possible content

  • Super City – less is less?
  • Civil union
  • Have a ball – teens and alcohol

Level 6 AO 2: Understand how cultures adapt and change and that this has consequences for society.

Possible content

  • Nuclear meltdown: Change in the NZ family – How many kids should I have?
  • Globalisation and me: How do my blue jeans help or enslave low wage workers?

Level 7 AO2: Understand how conflicts can arise from different cultural beliefs and ideas and be addressed in different ways with differing outcomes.

Possible content

  • Crushing boy racers – whose roads are they anyway?
  • Life’s a beach: Seabed and foreshore
  • Whale tales: Cultural, economic and ecological conflicts

Level 8 AO2: Understand how ideologies shape society and that individuals and groups respond differently to these beliefs.

Possible content

  • Is environmentalism an ideology changing and dividing NZ?
  • Does democracy suit iwi?

Connect students through learning methods that engage

Choose content and select resources that are inclusive and responsive to the diversity of your students. Connect with them by selecting learning methods that relate to them and keep them engaged. Engage them in discussions about what helps them learn effectively. Involve them in choices of ways to approach learning and planning next steps in the learning.

Connect students through communications technologies

Social networking and communications technologies can make the learning process more personal and efficient. An example could be setting up a Wikispace for students to share resources, and using Google docs to enable collaborative learning and allowing the teacher to give on the spot feedback and feed-forward on the same document from any location or even using a mobile phone.

Build digital information literacy skills

Digital Information Literacy (DIL) is the ability to recognise the need for, to access, and to evaluate electronic information. The digitally literate can confidently use, manage, create, quote, and share sources of digital information in an effective way.

The way in which information is used, created and distributed demonstrates an understanding and acknowledgement of the cultural, ethical, economic, legal, and social aspects of information.

The digitally literate demonstrate:

  • openness
  • the ability to problem solve
  • the ability to critically reflect
  • technical capability
  • a willingness to collaborate
  • a willingness to keep up to date, prompted by the changing contexts in which they use information.

Select relevant resources

When preparing resources be aware of how diversity can be made visible or can reinforce bias. When considering the Pasifika population, for example, it may involve multiple ethnicities, languages and cultures, and comprise people born in the Pacific Islands and those born in New Zealand. When studying Pacific peoples adapting to living in New Zealand (as part of achievement objective 6.2) the question of how immersion in Aotearoa New Zealand society has impacted on Pasifika individuals would encompass a range of the Pasifika groups. Student understandings, when exploring differing values and perspectives, may be influenced by the resources they are engaging with.

Last updated November 25, 2010



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