Civics, Citizenship & Political Literacy Working Group
Formed at the AGM in 2014, the objectives of the Civics, Citizenship and Political Literacy Working Group are:
To enable the objectives of the Working Group, the tasks of the Working Group and the needs of schools were the focus of a two day workshop in August 2015 at University of Canterbury hosted by the Working Group and including representatives of the Social Studies Teachers Association, Education Advisors to the Ministry of Education and Electoral Commission, as well as allied researchers and student representatives. This meeting confirmed the immediate tasks presented and confirmed by NZPSA at the national conference in December 2015 to:
1. Develop a web page portal that directs readers to networks for citizenship, civics and political literacy and provides some brief exemplars of best practice teaching and community learning
2. Contribute to national conversations and strategic policy reviews about civics, citizenship and political literacy
3. Source funds and resources to support the capacity and capability of teachers of civics, citizenship and political literacy in local areas through teacher fellowships, local academic / student speakers
The Civics, Citizenship and Political Literacy Working Group has hosted and participated in a number of events and initiatives.
A panel of experts share their views. Workshop speakers include: Prof Bronwyn Hayward (University of Canterbury), Gina Dao McLay (Make it 16 Campaign NZ), Dr Sarah Pickard (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle), Dr Jan Eichhorn (University of Edinburgh), Dr Andy Mycock (University of Huddesfield), Prof James Sloan (Royal Holloway University), Dr Lara Greaves (University of Auckland), and Dr Kate Prendergast (University of Canterbury). It can be viewed here.
Submission - Extending the Franchise to 16 and 17-year-olds
Read our submission to the 2022 Independent Electoral Review/He Arotake Pōtitangi Motuhake, calling for the extension of the franchise to 16 and 17-year-olds in Aotearoa New Zealand here.
Discussion Paper - Our Civic Future
Read our discussion paper that brings together contributions from researchers, educators and advocates working to improve the way we ‘do civics’ in Aotearoa New Zealand.
This discussion paper follows on from the 2014 working party and subsequent NZPSA workshops held between 2015 and 2017. It reflects the input and contributions of political and social scientists, community advocates, educators, business and young leaders who have worked as writers, or reviewers to summarise best practices for teaching civics, citizenship, and political literacy through-out life. We consider what governments, communities, schools and businesses can do to strengthen our democracy by supporting the citizen’s capacity to participate in public life. The choice of what sort of democracy we aspire to, and the values and skills we think are important for citizenship, are ultimately decisions and choices for the whole community. This report aims to inform public discussion about how to build resilience into our democratic system.
The following working definitions have been proposed for key terms:
What is Civics?
In political science, civics is used broadly to refer to the knowledge, skills and shared expectations of citizens who participate in, and sustain, democracies.
What is Citizenship?
It is both a legal status and lived experience. In legal terms citizenship is conferred on those in a community who hold rights to make claims and seek support from a community (the right to vote, to assemble, the right to access to education, health and social needs for example) and in turn have legal responsibilities to sustain and maintain that community, (through for example, paying taxes, obeying laws, voting and becoming informed).
However citizenship is also the outcome of lived experience, of being, belonging and participating in a community, in ways that support, maintain and enable a community to function effectively.
What is Political Literacy?
The ability to understand and interpret information about how and why community decisions are made (or not made), to support citizens to think critically, and make informed choices or take action where necessary, (often in cooperation with others), to advance particular concerns and interests, while also considering the possible consequences and impacts of these choices and actions for themselves and others.
If you wish to the join the working group and be a part of our mailing list, please contact the Convenor of the Working Group, Prof. Bronwyn Hayward.
Dr Therese Arseneau, Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury
Associate Professor Maria Bargh, Te Herenga Waka–Victoria University of Wellington
Dr Patrick Barrett, Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato | University of Waikato
Dr Raven Cretney, Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato | University of Waikato
Professor Jennifer Curtin, Waipapa Taumata Rau | University of Auckland
Will Dreyer, PhD student, Te Herenga Waka–Victoria University of Wellington
Dr Bryce Edwards, Te Herenga Waka–Victoria University of Wellington
Morgan Godfery, Te Whare Wānanga o Ōtākou | University of Otago
Professor Bethan Greener, Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa | Massey University
Dr Tom Gregory, Waipapa Taumata Rau | University of Auckland
Professor Bronwyn Hayward, Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury
Professor Janine Hayward, Te Whare Wānanga o Ōtākou | University of Otago
Dr Iati Iati, Te Herenga Waka–Victoria University of Wellington
Dr Dean Knight, Te Herenga Waka–Victoria University of Wellington
Dr Lindsey Te Ata o Tu MacDonald, Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury
Professor Donald Matheson, Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury
Associate Professor Kate McMillian, Te Herenga Waka–Victoria University of Wellington
Dr Julienne Molineaux, Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makau Rau | Auckland University of Technology
Dr Nicholas Munn, Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato | University of Waikato
Professor Karen Nairn, Te Whare Wānanga o Ōtākou | University of Otago
Dr Sylvia Nissen, Te Whare Wānaka o Aoraki | Lincoln University
Dr Nigel Parsons, Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa | Massey University
Professor Robert Patman, Te Whare Wānanga o Ōtākou | University of Otago
Dr Kate Prendergast, Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury
Dr Tara Ross, Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury
Professor Richard Shaw, Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa| Massey University
Associate Professor Vicki Spencer, Te Whare Wānanga o Ōtākou | University of Otago
Professor Alex Tan, Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury
Dr Claire Timperley, Te Herenga Waka–Victoria University of Wellington
Associate Professor Jane Verbitsky, Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makau Rau | Auckland University of Technology
Rachel Bolstad NZ Council for Education Research
Dr Jan Eichhorn, University of Edinburgh
Professor Angus Hikairo Macfarlane Māori Research, Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury
Dr Andrea Milligan, Te Herenga Waka–Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Associate Professor Carol Mutch Head of School, Critical Studies in Education, Waipapa Taumata Rau | University of Auckland
Dr Sarah Pickard, University in Paris - Sorbonne Université
Dr Bronwyn Wood School of Education, Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University Wellington