Inquiry: the Impact of Government Systems
This week, students in our Grade 5 classes worked in groups to create political party platforms and vote in a mock election. This activity is the summative project of their recent IB PYP inquiry into the big idea that "government decisions influence the lives of citizens."
As part of their research, the students visited the BC Legislature and observed a sitting of the Legislative Assembly, where a bill regarding shark finning (an initiative prompted and supported by our Middle School Fin Free group) was being tabled.
Prior to entering The House, the classes were met by Dr. Andrew Weaver, the MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, who introduced the group to the assembly. As a follow-up, the students invited Dr. Weaver to visit them at school so that they could ask him more questions to further their investigation, an invitation he readily accepted.
Dr. Weaver spent over an hour with our students as they quizzed him on many topics including environmental issues, how he decided to become a politician, and about how the current minority government functions. He was very impressed with their questions and complimented them on being such "socially conscious citizens." Here are just some of the questions he answered:
- How do you balance what you want to get done with trying to please everyone?
- How can citizens change the direction that is being taken by the government?
- How can you balance competing demands like homelessness with getting re-elected?
- Have you ever been the decision maker in the Legislature and do you ever regret the decisions you make?
- What is the best decision you ever made?
- Why do people shout a lot in the Legislature?
- Is a career in politics what you thought it would be?
- What is it like to have a position of power?
- How did you become an MLA?
- How does the government help the environment?
Regardless of the results of their in-class elections, our students used this opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the voting process as they completed their inquiry into the impact of government systems on the lives of citizens