Teaching Citizenship in Civil Societies: A Close-Up Look at An Innovative New Course At Middlesex School

Teaching Citizenship in Civil Societies: A Close-Up Look at An Innovative New Course At Middlesex School

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.

The Modern Challenges of Formative Assessment

The Modern Challenges of Formative Assessment

“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?”

Keeping Ourselves, and Our Students, Honest About Sources

Keeping Ourselves, and Our Students, Honest About Sources

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.

Enhancing Civic Education with Game-Based Learning

Enhancing Civic Education with Game-Based Learning

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?

Leading Innovation in Civic Education: MassCUE/MASCD Video & Presentation Resources

Leading Innovation in Civic Education: MassCUE/MASCD Video & Presentation Resources

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!