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Participating and contributing: a new thinking object

June 19th, 2009

I’ve just uploaded a new thinking object. It’s a “scenario card” from NZCER’s newest KickStart on Key Competencies resource series. (The full resource is available on the NZCER website )

The KickStart resource is designed to stimulate conversations and discussions in staffrooms and classrooms about the meaning of “participating and contributing” – one of five key competencies in the New Zealand Curriculum. Among other things, the resource pack includes a set of 14 “Scenario Cards”. Each contains a small story designed to elicit  discussion.

The stories are fictional, but many are based on things we have seen and experienced ourselves in schools we have worked or researched in. There are stories from both primary and secondary school contexts. Many of the stories contain some kind of dilemma or “twist”. The idea is that by discussing these stories, people will start to see both the complexity and opportunity inherent in a key competency like participating and contributing, as well as how it could fit into school life in different ways and times.

Guess what! We’ve chosen one of the 14 scenario cards to give you, lucky readers, as a freebie!

This particular scenario card tells the story of a teacher who asked two year 10 students  how they think they participate and contribute in their school.  The students begin by talking about various things they do at school, like helping to clean up rubbish, but end up having an interesting little debate about whether or not the subjects they learn have anything to do with participating and contributing.

At the end of the story, we’ve put some questions to discuss.

Would you like to discuss this thinking object with us? Yes? Great!

You can view the scenario card here.  Please post your comments below. (And if you’ve already used the full Kickstart on Participating and Contributing resource in your school, we’d love to hear how you used it and what happened!)

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