Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Project Citizen challenges

The last two weeks we have been learning about public policy and local issues to get ready for Project Citizen. There have been great discussions in class about some very worthy issues that we can tackle with this project. Some of the discussions centerd on drugs, suicide, transfats, land use, water bottles in school, resource conservation, hunting near residential areas, and nutrition in the cafeteria (to name just a sampling of our discussion topics). Obviously, there were many opinions expressed. The challenge for us now will be to step back from what we personally think about the chosen issue and to do the hard work needed to produce an intelligent, realistic, and understandable policy. Working collaboratively in class and on Google Groups students will find out that the process of Project Citizen is far more important than whether or not the policy is ever enacted. By learning to effectively work together for a common goal with a diverse group of people students will be learning skills that transcend the PSSA's and SAT's. A student with a high IQ or test scores will be at a competitve disadvantage if they are unable to work with others effectively. To make positive change in our communities and to take part in the democratic process of our country involves not just knowledge, but also an ability to organize, communicate, and take risks. These three attributes are the true learning goals of Project Citizen. So regardless of what issues the classes choose, or how successfully they are ever implemented is really not that important in the big picture. The important measure of success for Project Citizen will be how well did we organize, communicate, and take risks???

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