Find Out More, Session 7: Democratic Process (Chalk)
In "Toolbox of Faith," a Tapestry of Faith program
Children, Democracy and Unitarian Universalist Faith
Read an essay by Tracey L. Hurd. She writes, in part:
Whether active or passive, we're all part of the political process and the choices we make for our participation influence our children. Recent research shows that young adults who vote are more likely to have accompanied their parents to the polls or to have talked about politics in their families when growing up, compared to young adults who don't vote... What we do and how we talk with our children, matter. Families can nurture democracy... .
Accompanying our children through a presidential election can be a walk of faith. It's not a linear process, but one of honoring children's different stages of development, and inching them forward. There's no one right way to nurture democracy, just as there is no singular way to nurture faith. But standing together we move forward.
To learn more, see the Wikipedia article on consensus decision-making.
PBS Kids — On Voting
On the PBS Kids website, find some fun, educational, interactive pages in a section called The Democracy Project. Learn about times in U.S. history when one vote has made a difference. Young users can cast a vote about current issues.
Also on the PBS Kids website, the program, Zoom, sponsors a wealth of interactive learning about U.S. presidential elections and about voting, in general.
Kids Voting USA
Check out the national Kids Voting USA website to see if there is an affiliate in your area.
Through local affiliates, the organization provides K-12 educational programs for teachers to incorporate into their curricula. It was started by three U.S. businessmen who were inspired by Costa Rica's voting turnouts — around 90% — while vacationing there. The website says:
This high turnout was attributed to a tradition of children accompanying their parents to the polls. The men were intrigued by the idea, but also recognized a missing link to education. They launched a school-based pilot project in a Phoenix suburb that has since grown into the national Kids Voting USA organization.
On the website, find a large selection of links to resources and interactive sites for teaching children about becoming engaged as citizens by exercising their right to democratic process.
A Philosophical Game about Lawmaking
An adult game which makes a philosophical exploration of lawmaking and which has a cult following is "Nomic: A Game of Self-Amendment," created in 1982 by Peter Suber. In Nomic, changing the rules is a move in the game, and voting determines the course of the game. Find game rules for Nomic online.
In an Appendix to his book, The Paradox of Self-Amendment (New York: Lang, 1990), Suber writes:
Nomic is a game in which changing the rules is a move. In that respect, it differs from almost every other game. The primary activity of Nomic is proposing changes in the rules, debating the wisdom of changing them in that way, voting on the changes, deciding what can and cannot be done afterwards, and doing it. Even this core of the game, of course, can be changed.
Peter Suber retired from full-time philosophy teaching at Earlham College in 2003 and is now a research professor. He is also a leader in the open access movement to "put peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature on the Internet" (from his blog).
Games for Unitarian Universalist Groups
The game, Cloak and Dagger, in Activity 2 was adapted from a version in the online publication, "Deep Fun" found on the Unitarian Universalist Association website. "Deep Fun" also presents many additional games popular with Unitarian Universalist youth groups.
"The Donkey's Tale"
The Aesop's fable in this session's Closing was adapted from a similar tale in Peace Tales: World Folktales to Talk About by Margaret Read MacDonald (Little Rock, ARK: August House Publishers, 2005).
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Last updated on Friday, June 22, 2012.
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