Active citizenship

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    Active citizenship

    The aim of this activity is to allow students to explore the nature of political action, which can be thought of as a form of active as opposed to passive citizenship. By learning about and reflecting upon past instances of political action, or activism, students will be able to start thinking about what is likely to make a campaign successful. It is intended that these reflections can then be applied to their own actions as active citizens. It is hoped that the historical case studies combined with the information provided on different campaigning tools and methods will help to make students feel empowered and inspired to take action. In setting students the task of planning an action, it is expected that time management and organizational skills will be improved. It is believed that by putting themselves in the shoes of activists and going through the process of planning an action, they will have an engaged learning experience. The reflective element of the activity encourages students to form and defend opinions on the relative strengths and weaknesses of different campaigning methods, and on the acceptable limits to political action. This learning activity has been designed presuming no prior knowledge of activism or its methods, and has been successfully used with first year undergraduate students from a variety of disciplines. However, the activity provides a basis for more in-depth study of several issues, or alternatively study into further examples of campaign organizations. There are 3 different learning activities presented on this web site. For a dynamic and well-illustrated introduction to contemporary activism, see Jordan, T. (2002) Activism!: Direct Action, Hacktivism and the Future of Society, London: Reaktion Books Ltd. This material is also available via JORUM.

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