Students examine perspectives on the relationships among worldview, ideology and citizenship, and create recipe cards for citizenship that summarize the essential ingredients of citizenship in a democratic society.
Explore the concept of citizenship
Begin by inviting students to brainstorm responses to the question "What does it mean to be a citizen?" Prompt further discussion by encouraging students to consider a range of countries and perspectives when providing responses.
Provide students with quotes that present multiple perspectives on citizens and citizenship. Instruct students to determine how the ideas of the quote can be used to answer the question "What does it mean to be a citizen?" For examples, see References and/or Perspectives on Citizens and Citizenship (Background Information). You may wish to ask students to search for additional quotes from a variety of sources, including oral histories.
Instruct students to reflect on what each quote reveals about the concepts of citizen and citizenship and record their reflections. Consider having students engage in a paired sharing activity to discuss their understandings of the concepts of citizen and citizenship.
Create a word wall
Invite students to select a quote, identify key words or phrases within the quote and record them on sticky notes or cue cards. Students present and discuss the identified words or phrases. The words may be clustered based on commonalities. The groupings could then be displayed to create a word wall to provide background knowledge for the remainder of the activities of this critical challenge.
You may want to adapt the strategies in Word Sort (Support Material) to structure this activity.
Develop criteria for important rights and responsibilities
Ask students to consider the differences between rights and responsibilities. Use student responses to develop working understandings of both concepts.
Ask students to label the words/phrases identified in the word-wall activity by indicating a right or responsibility for each. Ask students to consider which rights and responsibilities are essential in a democracy.
Using this discussion as a starting point, ask students to consider which rights and responsibilities are the most important. Encourage students to reflect on what criteria could be used to rank rights and responsibilities according to importance. Possible criteria could include the following:
- critical for maintenance of democracy
- aligns with key values and beliefs of society
- promotes security of the country
- promotes economic and social well-being.
Explore the relationship between citizenship and worldview
Organize students into groups and provide each group with a copy of Exploring the Relationship between Citizenship and Worldview (Lesson Material). Assign, or ask groups to select, one ideology from a number of options. Examples could include fascism, communism, socialism, environmentalism, Islamism, Buddhism and liberalism. Instruct students to research the assigned ideology and identify aspects of the ideology that reflect the various elements of worldviews. Students record their findings in the second column of the chart.
You may wish to refer to Assessing Web Site Credibility (Modelling the Tools) to structure this activity and to ensure that students demonstrate discriminating selection of credible information.
You may also wish to refer to The Foundations of Worldview (Overarching Critical Inquiry) to develop background understandings.
After students complete this research and determine the relationship between worldview and identity, ask them to consider the relationship between ideology and citizenship. Using the final column of the chart, students should indicate what implications the assigned ideology would have for citizenship. Encourage students to include ideas regarding rights and responsibilities. For example, the responses of students researching Buddhism could include the following:
Elements of Worldview
Corresponding Aspects of Ideology
Implications for Citizenship
View of life purpose—the goals to strive for in living one’s life
To live only for the highest benefit of all
Citizenship would be viewed as the responsibility to serve others and to examine critically the actions of governments to ensure they do likewise.
Students now possess a series of key words or phrases that have challenged or extended their existing understanding of ideology and a series of ideas regarding perspectives on citizenship in a democratic society.
Invite students to share completed research, and encourage them to reflect on the influence of ideology on perspectives and understandings of citizenship.
Create recipe card for citizenship
Inform students that they are to create a recipe card for citizenship in a democratic society. Provide students with examples to consider, such as simple recipes or nursery rhymes like “What are little boys made of?” Tell students that their recipe cards should respond to the question “What does it mean to be a citizen?” Students should indicate the most essential ingredients for citizenship in a democracy. Students could refer to ideas and concepts collected and developed in the first two activities of this critical challenge.
Encourage students to reflect on the criteria for an effective recipe card. Criteria could include the following characteristics:
- incorporates ingredients of a democratic society
- respects majority and minority rights
- stresses citizen responsibilities and rights.