Purpose of Roles
Throughout this process, each student will take on a role and research information pertaining to the person's perspective. In order to make a valid argument for such a sweeping change to our concept of citizenship, it is necessary to bring in as many point of views as possible. Taking on other perspectives can be difficult and requires that you become well-informed about the information and concerns this person may have. If possible, you may speak to a person who currently fulfills this role to get a better understanding of how they perceive various issues.
Below you will find a list of possible roles of people that would be stakeholders in this issue of full citizenship rights, duties and privileges. If there is another role you believe should be represented, you must have the role approved by your instructor first.
In your group of 4-5 student, each student will choose a different role. Choose the roles that your groups believes are the most important to this process and decision.
Psychologist - Psychologists study human behavior and mental processes. Psychologists study numerous topics that pertain to this issue such as: brain function, human development, moral reasoning, cognition (how we think and perceive), emotion & motivation. As the psychologist, you will need to research what science has to offer about the brain development in humans, how do we come to moral decisions, how do we think and understand our world, and issues of emotional control.
Medical Doctor - The medical doctor may be a neurologist, pediatrician, or psychiatrist. Medical doctors, unlike psychologists, will view human behaviors and mental process as a result of the person's biological system. There will be some overlap with the psychologist in a few areas. Issues for the medical doctor would be brain development and functioning, physical and mental effects of choices such as alcohol use, driving, child birth, possible mental illness etc.
Law Officer or Lawyer - The law officer or lawyer will need to take on the legal perspective, not a personal one. The research may focus on data on the number of violations that occurred pertaining to the issues of alcohol use, driving, when are people considered "adults" by the courts etc.
Historian - The historian's role will be to look at the concept of citizenship thoughout time, the changing acceptable ages for various rights and responsibilities and perhaps how different states approach some of these issues.
Social Worker - Although a social worker usually is seen as the person who obtains services for people in need, they also have much to say about the impact that certain life choices, decisions, laws and the environment have on an individual's quality of life. Social workers deal with health, mental health, poverty, children & families, military & veterans assistance and community organizations.
Parent - The parent perspective is highly individualized and very personal. If you were a parent, when would you consider your child an adult who is capable of handling the numerous rights and responsibilities of full citizenship in America? As a parent you might think about when should my child marry, drive a car, drink legally, serve in the military, vote etc. As a parent, where do you look for advice and resources?
Teenager - The teenage perspective is very important to this issue of citizenship. At what age do teenagers want all of these rights and responsibilities? Again, this is very personal, however, you will need research and logical information to support your argument. The issues facing the teenager are the same as the parent, but are now coming from the individuals most affected by this possible change to full citizenship.