Wanted: US Students for Political Collaboration

The grade 9 teachers and students at the Calgary Science School are seeking an online partnership with a school in the United States for a multi-week study on political systems.
We are hoping to find a group of teachers and students who are willing and able to engage in an inquiry-based, comparative study of the political and economic systems of our two countries. This project will be issue based (immigration, healthcare, etc) and involve students working with partners across the border to examine how the two political systems respond to these issues.

In Alberta grade 9 students spend their year in Social Studies examining political and economic systems. Throughout the year, students engage in a careful study of topics including: government, citizenship, individual and collective rights and responsibilities, immigration, quality of life and identity.

We are hoping to find a group of students in the US to join us in an inquiry into the relationship between political and economic systems and quality of life.

We plan to have students examine a number of topical issues in order to build a comparative understanding of the systems within our of two countries. Over the course of a few weeks students will work in cross-border teams to research and build a collaborative presentation highlighting their findings. We have also discussed the possibility of conducting cross-border debates using Skype.

Our goals:

(what we’d like our students to gain from this collaboration)

• Students will demonstrate understanding of the impact of political and economic systems on the quality of life of citizens
• Students will explore the similarities and differences that exist between the political and economic systems of our countries
• Students will build a deeper, more authentic understanding of the values inherent in both countries
• Students will deepen their understanding of their own system by explaining and defending their country’s system of government

Timeline:

While we have some ideas about how me might structure this project, we’d like to involve other teachers in the planning. We’re hoping to find an interested teacher(s) in the next few weeks. We imagine all the teachers involved building the project together online (perhaps using Skype, google docs, wikis, etc)

We’d like to have the students participate in this project at the end of October into the beginning of November. We imagine the students collaborating over a couple weeks – but again, this is somewhat flexible.

Our grade 9 students participated in a similar one-off skype chat last year – and we’re looking forward to expanding the study this year. You can read about last year by clicking here.
If you are interested in this collaboration, please comment below or contact Neil Stephenson (neil.s@calgaryscienceschool [dot] com). Also, feel free to comment below with any questions or suggestions you have about this project.
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