LC

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Citizenship

GHSD encourages students to:

  • interact in socially skilled and respectful ways
  • practice positive, safe and healthy behaviors
  • contribute ethically and responsibly to their peer group, family, school and community
  • possess basic competencies, work habits and values as a foundation for meaningful employment and engaged citizenship (as cited in Greenberg et al, 2003).

The need to help students develop the skills for citizenship and social responsibility has become increasingly evident in our classrooms. GHSD recognizes the central role schools play in helping students to think and act in ways that promote a more "just, peaceful, tolerant and inclusive" society. With this in mind, teachers strive to cultivate in their students recognition of each individual’s contribution within local communities, as well as actively care for others and the world.

“We believe global citizenship is essential for young people to gain the skills, attributes and knowledge to be successful… [and] for the progress and development of a fairer and protected world.” John Cooper, Global Citizenship and United World Schools.

Through an increased focus on citizenship and global connectedness we recognize that, as Daniel Pink indicates, students will “…need to be able to design innovations, communicate through compelling stories, develop rapport with others and synthesize seemingly disconnected pieces of information in new way” (as cited by Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, & Stone, 2012).

Westheimer describes three types of citizens, which include “Personally Responsible Citizens, Participatory Citizens and Social Justice Oriented Citizens”.

  • A Personally Responsible Citizen as defined by Westheimer, acts responsibly in the community, helps those in         need, obeys laws and makes contributions to social causes. The basic assumption for a Personally Responsible citizen is to solve social problems and improve society, citizens must have good character, be honest and law-abiding members of the community.

The Participatory Citizen is someone who actively participates in the civic affairs and social life of the community at the local, provincial and national level. These individuals would organize community efforts to care for those in need or clean up their environment. They would know how government agencies work and help to organize i.e the food drive. To solve social problems, citizens must actively participate and take leadership positions within established systems and community structures.

The Social Justice-Oriented Citizen is someone who is able to examine social, political structure and explore strategies for change that address the root causes of problems. Citizens with this orientation know about social movements and how to effect systemic change. They seek out and address areas of injustice. To solve problems as a Social Justice-Oriented citizen, citizens must question and change established systems and structures when such systems reproduce patterns of injustice over time.

In order to foster innovative thinkers, doers and connectors, students in Golden Hills School Division strive to acquire the skills and attributes necessary to be successful in a globally connected world. It has become increasingly important that GHSD promote active involvement with diverse communities and real-world challenges.