1999 Learning Strategies
Learning Strategy 11
Developing a Class Constitution through Participatory Democracy
Martin Doucette (NS), Derryk Flemming (ON), Bernie Rubinstein (ON)
Through an examination of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, students create a class "constitution". In this interactive environment, students experience first hand the principles of participatory democracy.
Global: foster citizenship. General: Introduce the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Establish class norms. Facilitate a consensus form of decision making.
Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Provincial Education Act.
Discuss with students the two main questions which should
arise when pondering the establishment of class norms:
Where do we start?
Why have class rules, and where do we look for models?
Brainstorm about areas that will comprise the class constitution.
Discussion of roles within a group: recorder, reporter, leader,
and resource manager.
Clauses are written on overheads so each group can present them to
Students from each group present individual clauses. Discussion is
held to determine acceptability.
Once clauses have all been ratified, the amendment procedure must be
discussed. Use Canadian and American amending formulas as models.
Discuss why amending procedure is so difficult in both countries.
Print final version of class constitution.
Students confirm ownership by signing master copy.
Post master-copy and distribute among participants.
- Self-evaluation of group participation.
- Set a rubric for marking the clauses.
- Optional quiz of key concepts and terms.
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