Teacher guide Voting and belonging - a unit of work

TLF ID R11316

This unit of work for lower secondary students uses the experience of women and Indigenous people in Australia as case studies for learning about 'enfranchisement', that is, gaining the right to vote. Students identify key dates and people associated with enfranchisement and appreciate the need for Australia's parliament to be representative of the community. They then consider ways to ensure wider representation in decision-making bodies at school and in the wider community.



Educational details

Educational value
  • The history of suffrage (the right to vote) in Australia has involved many struggles. In the first activity students watch an online animation, 'The history of voting', taking notes on the enfranchisement of women and Indigenous people. They then complete a task to demonstrate their knowledge of this topic.
  • In the second activity students investigate data relating to the under-representation of women and Indigenous people in Australian parliaments. They consider how greater representation by these groups would lead to a sense of belonging and equality and the ability to have a say on issues that directly affect them. Students then debate the relative benefits of dedicated seats or a quota system as a way of increasing representation.
  • There are many Australians who have worked tirelessly to achieve enfranchisement and proportional representation for women and Indigenous people. In the third activity students use online resources to research the life, challenges and achievements of one of these people. Links to useful websites are provided and the students record their findings on a data chart.
  • In the fourth activity students present their research to the class, considering how being enfranchised and representing others affected the life of their subject and the lives of other Australians at the time and since. With their understanding of the benefits of enfranchisement and increased formal participation, students are asked to examine decision-making structures in their school or in a club they belong to. They then draw up a plan to increase representation of a diversity of people and perspectives, and complete a SWOT analysis to ensure their plan's success.

Other details

Contributors
  • Publisher
  • Date of contribution: 20 Sep 2013
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia
  • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
  • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au
  • Copyright holder
  • Organisation: Commonwealth of Australia
  • Remarks: Copyright Commonwealth of Australia
  • Content provider
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Learning resource type
  • Teacher guide
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Rights
  • © Education Services Australia Ltd, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements.