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Change Actions & Change Outcomes

January 6, 2012

Happy New Year!

If Citizenship education is about helping young people become politically powerful, then the only way to achieve this is to give them powerful experiences of acting politically.

In other words we need to give them opportunities to take actions that can change their lives and communities for the better. I call these ‘change actions’. Change actions can be as simple is writing to your MP, and as a complex as starting a global campaign. When these change actions result in a ‘change outcome’ i.e. they get a positive response from their MP, young people begin to feel politically powerful.

You cannot achieve this through a text book, simulation activity or online game. The ONLY way you can achieve this is by actually doing it for real. The problem is it’s not always easy to create these opportunities, especially for a whole year group of students.

So if you’re stuck for ways to do this, here are 8 change actions our students have done which have helped them feel more politically powerful, and below I have attached a document with some further suggestions:

1. Campaign videos I:
Our Year 7 students have just finished a collective campaign video to promote Fair Trade. We will run this video on the TV screens we have in our school canteen and reception.

2. Campaign videos II:
Our Year 9 students have recently all made Citizenship films – short films with a Citizenship message – and we will show the best of these to the rest of the school in assemblies.

3. Letters to our MP:
Our Year 8’s wrote to the Climate Change minister, Chris Huhne MP, last term to lobby him to take more urgent action on climate change, prior to his attendance at the annual UN Summit on Climate Change. I know writing letters to an MP is old hat, but it’s not for Year 8 students! Just remember to tell them when you get the reply.

4. Endangered Species Day:
Our Year 8s have now set out to try to establish the UK’s first ever Endangered Species Day, and have invited our local MP to come into school to persuade him to back the idea (more on this later!).

5. Community Campaign Events

6. Make Your Council a Fair Trade Borough

7. Take Part in the BBC News School Report

8. Teach Others

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 9, 2012 1:27 pm

    Who has political power in the UK? how is it exercised? We worked with twenty five 16/17 year olds interviewing the top suits in business, banking, the media and politics.
    The result ‘Who runs this place? the investigation’ is a dvd and website. The very revealing conclusions are a tribute to the pupils who took part.

  2. Pete Pattisson permalink
    January 9, 2012 7:26 pm

    Sounds great – is there a weblink?

    Cheers, Pete

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