Fighting for Fairness: Teaching Proportional Representation

Cindy Spackman

After brainstorming the success criteria for explanatory writing, students were provided with an organizer. We filled it in together, making sure to include  key vocabulary. A final section at the end of the organizer was left for them to add anything that they felt was most interesting, or a detail they believed was important, or any other ideas that had occurred to them they felt they would like to include. A word wall was begun on the SMART Board which we added to as necessary while they used the organizers to write the first draft of their explanations. The title suggested was “A Proposed Change to Canada’s Voting System” (or they could make up their own). The hope, of course, was that students would express and organize what they had learned about the electoral system.

Each student next wrote an explanation to show an understanding of our voting system. Although my class is typical of many, with a wide variety of abilities and challenges, I had some concern that the explanations would be very similar, based heavily on the organizer. But despite the somewhat lock-step scaffolding, I was surprised by the variety of the explanations. Students  emphasized certain aspects over others, and many added their own examples. One student managed to explain the concepts so succinctly that I suggested he should write for Elections Canada!


Cover for Teachers: Pillars of Democracy: World Teachers

Each new school year brings with it the excitement of fresh faces in the classroom, smiles and laughter, and the shared energy of learning

ETFO Member speaking at podium

Bargaining, teacher pensions, and the October 14 federal election were the topics in the forefront  at  the  October  Representative  Council meeting. Representative Council brings together local presidents and executive members three times a year. The meeting is chaired by First Vice-President Sam Hammond.