Seasons of Service

Discussion Topics for Round Table Talks

Local Issues
What are the biggest problems in our school system today?
What are the biggest problems in our community today?
Who is affected by each of these problems?
What are the causes of each of these problems?
Who is trying to deal with these problems?
Is the government involved? How?
What solutions can you offer?
How can you help?

The purpose of government
What feature of our system do you value? Why?
What would you include in a charter for governing your class?
What are the biggest threats to our system?
What can you do to protect it?

Role of citizens in local government
Problem: The city is considering an ordinance to regulate skate boarding or talking on a cell phone while driving.
Solution: What would you do to support or oppose such an ordinance?

Student government versus local government
Does the School Community have a Student Council? Why? Why Not?
How does the Student Council operate?
How is the Student Council similar to the City Council? How is it different?
How does the role of the Student Council President compare with the role of the Mayor, City or County Manager?

Choosing leaders
Present the following situation and ask students to each make a decision:
Problem: Two of your best friends are running for Student Council. Both want you to vote for them. One has a great personality and is a hard worker. The other has some terrific ideas for the Council, which she has shared with you, and she is very shy.
Solution: What will affect your final decision?
Use responses to facilitate a discussion of the qualities we look for in elected officials.
(Adopted from Investing in Our Future: A Handbook for Teaching Local Government (ICMM, 1990 pp35 - 36)

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