Citizenship in Civil Societies emerged out of ongoing conversations we were having around the idea of civics, ethics, and the need to incorporate more character-education throughout our academic curriculum. On top of that, there was a desire to introduce upper class students to an element of character education that would prepare them for the leadership opportunities that they would be offered in their senior year.
“Where teachers once had relatively limited options for conducting Formative Assessment, today there is an abundance of simple, effective and free ways to collect information for learning in your classroom. A new challenge that these tools confront us with is whether we are making the most of the formative assessment data that we collect. Are we using this information effectively to inform our choices about the learning opportunities that we provide for our students?”
The most effective civic education in my eighth-grade classroom is often the simplest.
On Fridays, each student brings in an annotated newspaper article on any topic except sports or entertainment, and then three or four students present and field questions on their pieces.
During the rest of the week, we begin class with five minutes of discussion on an article I’ve chosen, usually one that not only primes us on the day’s news but also relates to our U.S. history and civics curriculum. If an article about international politics also underscores the difference between a tax and a tariff, fantastic. If a piece about proposed legislation in California highlights the tensions inherent in federalism, all the better. I like to model what it looks like to grapple with complicated “adult” issues.
A guest post by Marry Ellen Daneels (@daneels_m), who is a good friend of the Modern Civics Project, a classroom teacher and Lead Teacher Mentor with the McCormick Foundation
There is a new teacher poster that is making the rounds on social media (see image to the left). I would say that the majority seem to “like” the message of the piece. I dissent.
We must create civic spaces that engage students like current and controversial issue discussions that lead to students communicating conclusions and taking informed action.
As part of the EdTechTeacher Summer Workshop Series, we are excited to be hosting a 2-Day Modern Civics workshop in Boston on July 8th and 9th. Consider joining us for an exciting event with colleagues from across the nation!
We are experiencing a rising tide of advocacy for high quality civic education across the nation. There is also increasing interest and promising research around the impact that gamification can play in instructional design. Therefore, how might we leverage the power of gamification and game-based learning to enhance civic education?
Shawn and I (Tom) recently had the privilege of leading a session at the 2019 MassCUE / MACSD Leadership Conference in Worcester, MA. This was the first opportunity for us to present together on this topic and we are so excited to be diving into this work! We quickly realized that our 45 minutes session had about 2 hours worth of content, so we’ll need to adjust this a bit moving forward… Nevertheless, below are the slides and video of our conference session. Check it out, feel free to share with colleagues, and reach out to us with any questions or ideas you have to share!
Civic engagement has been a foundational element of our nation since its inception. But it is undeniable that the rapid shifts in our world have also shifted what civic engagement means and looks like. These changes have created exciting new opportunities to learn, connect and engage with others, yet have also surfaced new challenges in navigating our complex, hyperconnected and rapidly changing world.
Tom and Shawn are excited to be presenting next month at the MassCUE/MASCD “Lead with Courage” Conference. Based upon our work collaborating on the Modern Civics Project, we will be running a session titled “Leading Innovation in Civic Education: Preparing Citizens for a Modern World.”