The program is a participatory approach to teaching civic literacy. It is designed to be implemented in any educational curriculum. The program facilitates the requirements of the Michigan Content Standards and Draft Benchmarks by developing and enhancing skills required for depth of understanding, inquiry and research, public discourse, and decision making with a focus on the imperative of citizen involvement. These goals are achieved through the four components of the program:
I. In-Class: ACTIVE
Goal: Create a forum for youth which provides a "free space" for democratic action...
FACILITATION: What does the Urban Agenda Project Facilitator do?
Facilitator introduces the students to the Project. The
facilitator establishes the “free space” which encourages students to
develop and debate issues that concern them and their communities. As students debate the issues,
they develop arguments to defend their viewpoint using both personal
experience and factual information in an attempt to create a
encourage students in understanding the complexity of issues on a local
and global level using the classroom as a forum and the discussion of
personal experience as
legitimate information in decision-making.
During facilitation, vocabulary and political terminology
are introduced to help students to articulate their
Goal: Collectively create a ten-point Agenda reflecting the needs of everyone involved ...
AGENDA-BUILDING PROCESS: What do the Students do?
Students are engaged in the agenda building-process. Students may define and investigate issues and problems using a variety of resources. The activities provided were developed to facilitate the agenda-building process incorporating analytical tools such as the Needs-Demands-Response Model (NDR) and the Six Points of Deliberation.
NEEDS-DEMANDS-RESPONSE MODEL & THE SIX POINTS
OF DELIBERATION :
The first two questions address the needs of
the students, their environments, and their future goals. The third
question addresses the formulation of demands that are derived from needs:
what do the students feel is necessary to have their needs met? The fourth
and fifth questions are designed to introduce the skills of organizing and
coalition building to gain support for issues. The sixth questions opens up
discussion in reevaluating whether the Agenda accurately reflects the
Needs of those it represents.
Goal: Create a Final Youth Agenda through collaboration with other schools ...
The process begins in the classroom and culminates in Youth Urban Agenda Conventions. The participating high schools, middle schools, adult education, and post-secondary institutions are organized into clusters groups. The convention serves as the culmination of this agenda-building process and becomes proof that diverse communities can come together in a peaceful manner. The convention process is a forum where the students can exercise skills of communication, developing issues, organization, coalition building, and conflict resolution. This brings their research and efforts to its logical conclusion. In the final convention, students will have the opportunity to exchange and debate about issues that affect them as youth, from around the state, the country and the world
Goal: Formulate collective activities that contribute to
social change ...
In this phase the students become more involved in the process through activities designed to explore the relationship between citizen responsibility and citizen rights. The students may wish to present their agenda to a speaker or suggest another topic for deliberation. The activities provided by the Project are:
International Linkages with Other Schools
Letter Writing Campaigns
Candidate Job Interviews
(students have a chance to interview
candidates running for public office)