RS IDEALS Challenge – A Spirit of Democracy

In the Spirit of Democracy, do you consider free speech to be a help or a hindrance in times of adversity?

This challenge explores what it means to have a Spirit of Democracy through a balance of rights and responsibilities. We consider how to make a difference by lending our voices to causes that campaign for positive change and listen carefully and selectively to those voices we hear and share – through the news, in our communities, on social media. We explore how people-power can create a movement, and the ways in which we can each become a force for good through well-informed, responsible and active citizenship. We reflect on what it means to be authentically true to our beliefs and values, in our actions, communications, and the ways in which we present ourselves to the world. Finally we ask ourselves: Whilst freedom of speech can have the power to promote equality, justice and fairness, is it always wholly positive during times of adversity and is it always used for the ‘greater good’ of everyone in our communities? The ultimate challenge is to determine your debating position on the big question and prepare an opening statement to support your point of view.

(5) Paint a Thousand Words

Here we explore the many ways in which freedom of expression can be used to transmit powerful messages through creative arts and in popular culture. We consider how street art, music, craft, theatre and poetry can be used to influence the way in which we see the world and change our perspectives on social, environmental and political issues. The session ends with a creative challenge to design a work of “Street Art with a Message” and/or compose and perform a “Song for Change”.

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The Spirit of Democracy Challenge:

For the Spirit of Democracy Challenge we would like you to write an opening statement for a debate responding to the question: “In times of adversity, is freedom of speech a help or a hindrance?”

You might be invited by your teacher to write your statement from one perspective, or to prepare a statement for each side of the argument. You might submit a written statement or be asked to record yourself making your speech. Please refer to your teacher for guidance as to which they would like you to do.

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