Democracy Bootcamp B.C. 2017

February 23rd, 2017 by CIVIX

To gear up for the May provincial election, 170 educators from across British Columbia will gather in Vancouver on February 23 and 24 for Democracy Bootcamp BC 2017.

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Democracy Bootcamp is a professional development conference for elementary and secondary teachers to improve their democratic engagement, strengthen their capacity and commitment to civic education and enhance their delivery of the Student Vote program.

This is our third and largest professional development conference in the province to date. Previous events took place in February 2015 and February 2016.

The schedule for the two-day conference is filled with engaging and thoughtful speakers and presentations. On opening night, teachers will hear from B.C.’s Chief Electoral Officer Keith Archer, as well as a panel on ‘the state of our democracy’ featuring John Ibbitson (Globe and Mail), Kathleen Monk (Earnscliffe) and David Moscrop (UBC).

Friday’s agenda includes an exploration of voting research and the impact of Student Vote, as well as a preview of the Student Vote resource materials for the coming election. Educators will also have the opportunity to hear from and speak with their colleagues about best practices, and will receive suggestions on how to integrate a variety of campaign tools.

An experienced panel of political strategists (Don Guy, Jaime Watt and Raj Sihota) will share their insights on what happens ‘behind the scenes’ during a political campaign. In the afternoon, a panel featuring representatives from provincial political parties will discuss major campaign issues, and educators will also have the opportunity to learn and share some tips for organizing their own candidates’ debate. Both panels will be moderated by Justine Hunter (Globe and Mail).

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The 2017 event is made possible with the generous support of Elections BC, Elections Canada, Vancity and the Vancouver Foundation.

Democracy Bootcamp has previously been proven to enhance the reach and quality of the Student Vote program, and we hope that it will contribute to our best Student Vote program in British Columbia this spring.

Based on analysis of Student Vote participation statistics from the 2015 federal election, it was found that Democracy Bootcamp resulted in committed and enthusiastic teachers who were more likely to register for Student Vote, complete the program entirely (submit results) and engage 50 per cent more students than non-attendees.

Furthermore, an independent evaluation commissioned by Elections Canada also found that the Democracy Bootcamps had a relatively consistent and positive impact on student voting intentions, and a significant impact on political knowledge among elementary students, as well as political discussion among elementary and secondary students. Overall, Bootcamp attendees spent more time teaching about the election, specifically tracking media coverage, engaging with local candidates, analyzing political ads and encouraging students to talk about the election at home.

Posted in English, Special Events, Student Vote |

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