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Why “participating and contributing”?

March 23rd, 2012

The 2012 Shifting Thinking Workshop is based around the overarching theme of “participating and contributing”.

Why?

Those of you from the school sector will recognise “participating and contributing” as one of the key competencies from the New Zealand Curriculum. Here’s what the NZC (p. 13) has to say:

Participating and contributing

This competency is about being actively involved in communities. Communities include family, whānau, and school and those based, for example, on a common interest or culture. They may be drawn together for purposes such as learning, work, celebration, or recreation. They may be local, national, or global. This competency includes a capacity to contribute appropriately as a group member, to make connections with others, and to create opportunities for others in the group.

Students who participate and contribute in communities have a sense of belonging and the confidence to participate within new contexts. They understand the importance of balancing rights, roles, and responsibilities and of contributing to the quality and sustainability of social, cultural, physical, and economic environments.

At the Shifting Thinking Workshop we want to unpack and explore the notion of “participating and contributing”, not only as it applies to students, but also for adults, and for New Zealand as a society. What does it mean to participate and contribute in a 21st century world? To what, with whom, and why? How can we all learn to become better and participating and contributing, and why does it matter? How do we support learners to develop the knowledge, skills, experiences, and inclinations they need to participate and contribute to their worlds right now, and throughout their lives? What are the barriers that we, as a society, have created which limit peoples’ opportunities to fully participate and contribute? How can those change?

There are so many questions we can ask.

There are so many ways to think about participating and contributing!

This is why we (the organising team) have identified five Entry Points to help get us started  (I discuss where those came from in this video). Our entry points certainly aren’t the only ways into thinking about participating and contributing, but we hope that you will find at least some of these entry points hit on areas that you want to think more about.

We’d love to hear your thoughts about participating and contributing in the weeks leading up to the Workshop, so feel free to drop us some comments!

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