Camera Debate Key Learning

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Episode 29

16th October 2012

Camera Debate

Key Learning

Students will develop a deeper understanding of the debate about CCTV cameras being used to monitor people’s behaviour.

The Australian Curriculum > English / Literacy / Interacting with others

Content description

General capabilities


Critical and creative thinking

Personal and social capability

Ethical behaviour

Participate in and contribute to discussions, clarifying and interrogating ideas, developing and supporting arguments, sharing and evaluating information, experiences and opinions. Code ACELY1709


  • using strategies, for example, pausing, questioning, rephrasing, repeating, summarising, reviewing and asking clarifying questions.

Focus Questions

  1. Discuss the main issues raised in the BtN story with another student.

  2. Security cameras are also known as…

  3. About how many times a day is the average capital city-dweller in Australia filmed by security cameras?

  4. The cameras will be used to spy on people. True or false?

  5. What is the purpose of having cameras in public places?

  6. People in Britain are being filmed up to __________ times a day.

  7. Why does the leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, want more security cameras in Australia?

  8. Why do some people think CCTV cameras are a good idea?

  9. Why are some people against them?

  10. Do you think there should be more CCTV cameras in Australia? Explain your answer.


Pre-viewing activity

Before students watch the BtN Camera Debate story, ask them to predict what they think the story is about.

Students watch the story and write down the key words as they listen to the story. They may need to watch the story more than once. In small groups, then as a class share key words and check their understanding of each.

What is CCTV? Ask students to write a short explanation.

Discuss with students `what is privacy’?

Working in pairs, ask students to think of three advantages and three disadvantages of CCTV.

Students research one or more of the following questions and present their response as an opinion piece. Explain to students that an opinion piece is an article, published in a newspaper, magazine or online that reflects the author’s opinion about the subject.

  • Does CCTV threaten our right to privacy? Why or why not?

  • Where is it ok to have CCTV cameras? Where isn’t it ok to have CCTV cameras?

  • Is privacy more important in some places/contexts than others? For example, at home versus at school or online versus offline.

  • Should there be more CCTV cameras in Australia? Do they make people feel safe or fearful?

  • How would you feel if CCTV cameras were installed in your school? Where in the school would they be ok? Where would they not be ok?

Students share their published writing with the rest of the class. Discuss the range of opinions about the issue.

Further Investigation

Think of three questions that you would like to ask either a politician, police officer or civil libertarian (someone who believes in individual rights and personal freedom) about CCTV cameras in Australia.

8 Related Research Links

CBBC Newsround – Should CCTV cameras be used in schools?

ABC News - Coalition promises $50m for security cameras

©ABC 2012

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