Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Big Count : Census 2006

  Posted by Picasa No doubt teachers throughout New Zealand will be focusing on the census this week? The big count!

The five- yearly Census of Population is the largest official survey taken in New Zealand to see who where are as a country. It will go out to 4.2 million people and 1.6 million dwellings and will cost 70 million dollars

Every person and household will be involved and so it will affect all our students.

What a great chance to involve students in authentic research and to involve them in important social issues.

Students could research why we need to have a census.

Where does the word census come from?

Who might use the data?

Why does the census have to be compulsory?

As well it is great opportunity to consider how New Zealand, their local community or their school, has changed over the years. Students could draw up a set of their own question to ask of their parents?

Then they will need to decide how they are going to present their findings.

Our local paper provides information about how the population has grown since the 1901 census. The changing figures make an interesting graph and the basis for all sorts of discussions. The 1901 census asked how many servants households had! In 1926 they asked how many chickens people owned! The number of people living in the country and the town has changed dramatically over the years. Now people are asked about numbers of cars and their ethnic nationality groups. A new question this year is about the number of people who smoke!

Schools will have been sent information packs for teachers to use and, if not, the official NZ Census site might be worth a look? Also look up Statistics New Zealand.

Be great if citizens were to be asked to comment on what kind of country we want New Zealand to become – it doesn’t seem right to let the direction of our country to be left in the hands of politicians and technocrats.

May be we need a new survey – a national conversation about what kind of country we want to be seen as?

Where are we going is just as important as where we are now and where we have come from.


Anonymous said...

Great picture of a middle class colony.

Anonymous said...

'Counting' is is a way of understanding our current reality but what is required is future thinking to consider what kind of country we might become.