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Deliberative Classroom: Democracy, Protest and Change

The resources in this Deliberative Classroom pack focus on the topic of Democracy, Protest and Change. The pack begins with a briefing paper to help teachers think about the depth of conceptual knowledge students need as they learn about democracy and its key characteristics and the different ways citizens can influence change. Additional reading and resources are also suggested.

Some young people attracted by extremist narratives, start with a dissatisfaction of an aspect of the current state of affairs and a desire to radically change the situation. By explicitly educating students about how change can be affected within democracies, peacefully and within the law, we build a more positive perspective for harnessing this initial dissatisfaction. Through developing students’ knowledge of democracy and the many ways citizens can express themselves and engage in trying to create change in society, the resource can also help to help build resilience to being drawn into extremism or using violence.

Three lesson plans with activity instructions are accompanied by ready to use student resources.

Lesson 1 - 'What is democracy?' explores the components or key characteristics of democracy including right to free speech, to fair elections and to peaceful protest.

Lesson 2 - 'Influencing change' disucsses the methods citizens use to influence change peacefully and introduces the idea legality/illegality of some forms protest.

Lesson 3 - 'Can violence ever be justified?' includes a deeper exploration of the legal/illegal forms of protest and extends the discussion to consider political violence.

Each lesson is designed to be used in about 60 minutes and can be adapted to suit different teaching approaches.


You might also be interested in the pack on Religious Freedom which explores the nature of freedom and religious freedom and explores situations when beliefs lead to harm.

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