Response from Tanneshala Wilson
First, on behalf of the school, I would ask everyone – from the school board members to the principals to the staff and to the students – what it is that they need or have seen someone else need. Whatever it is they say, I would require them to be the agent of that change to get the need met as much as possible.
Here’s what I would then do:
- Make becoming active citizens in our democracy the vision to everything in schools so that it is weaved into the curriculum, lesson plans, and culture of the school.
- Put advertisements in all forms of the media and even make mini shows (or contact producers of TV shows to make it a plot) that celebrates and values children becoming active citizens. After the idea has been promoted enough, it will become part of our culture just like using social networking and watching reality TV have.
- Encourage celebrities or public figures to make children becoming active democratic citizens a big deal and show this on a regular basis. Albert Bandura's Social Learning Theory suggests that if someone we look up to does something, (even if we don't agree with it but especially if we do) and we see it, we are likely to mimic it, and even more so if the action garners positive gains or responses.
Tanneshala Wilson is a wife, mother of two, and senior at Old Dominion University in Virginia where she is studying to become an elementary school teacher. She is looking forward to planting the seeds of active citizenship in her children and future students as well becoming more active herself.