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Civics and Citizenship

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Introduction to Civics and Citizenship

The Civics and Citizenship domain provides students with knowledge, skills and opportunities to understand and practise what it means to be a citizen in a democracy. Citizens require knowledge and understanding of civic institutions and the skills and willingness to actively participate in society. They need knowledge of political and legal systems and processes and the history that underpins them in order to achieve civic understanding. They need to understand their rights and responsibilities as citizens, and democratic values and principles such as democratic decision making, representative and accountable government, freedom of speech, equality before the law, social justice and equality. This domain facilitates the practice of citizenship skills, the exploration and development of values and dispositions to support citizenship and the empowerment of informed decision making. Teaching of civics engages students in active interaction with the community.

In a world where people, environments, economics and politics are inextricably linked, and where dislocation and change is accelerating, a strong sense of personal identity developed through participation in communities is a sound basis from which to connect with the world. Civics and Citizenship education strengthens understanding and valuing of the self. It teaches why citizens need a sense of personal identity within their own community and how they can contribute to local, national and global communities. Through Civics and Citizenship, students develop an appreciation for the uniqueness and diversity of Australia’s multicultural society and the efforts of individuals and groups to achieve political rights and equality. They value what it means to be an Australian and explore Australia’s role in the global community. They consider human rights and social justice issues at local, national and global levels.

In Civics and Citizenship, students investigate how, in a democratic tradition, informed and diverse contributions and participation by citizens are important. They learn about, contest and enact the values that are important to be an engaged citizen within a community. They are provided with opportunities to investigate and participate in activities that support sustainable practices, social justice and underpin the future wellbeing of societies from a local to a global level. Civics and Citizenship provides a vehicle for students to challenge their own and others’ views about Australian society and to formally participate in and practise activities and behaviours which involve democratic decision making.

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