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Grade 6 community meet local government officials to learn how to participate in the great debate

Grade 6 community meet local government officials to learn how to participate in the great debate

Our Grade 6 students launched their inquiry into citizen participation in a unique way this year. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to meet virtually with Mayor Bill Robertson of Okotoks. Mayor Robertson discussed the importance of active citizenship, passing bylaws, local government in general and the importance of being an active participant in local government.  

Our current Primary Years Programme (PYP) unit of inquiry is explored under the transdisciplinary theme “How we organize ourselves” under which students explore human systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision making; and economic activities and their impacts. As a means to explore participation in decision-making, students were required to extensively research both positions of an Okotoks Curfew Bylaw. 

Grade 6 debate with mayor 1Our Grade 6 inquirers prepared speeches which combined advocacy and education to reveal fascinating facts, connections and opinions. Students uncovered the importance of recognizing and defending differing perspectives and provided an opportunity to debate in a mature, responsible and meaningful way. Understanding multiple perspectives, students were randomly assigned to defend one side of the curfew debate on the morning of Friday, November 6. Providing students with the ability to recognize the importance of advocating for their communities and to become active and concerned citizens is a primary focus of this unit of inquiry. We are very proud of their work and have captured some of the process in the images included.