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!

What is the Future of Civic Education in America

What is the Future of Civic Education in America

We live in interesting times, during a period of change in many of the patterns of daily life. There are many engines driving that change; technology, social media, globalization just to name a few. Regardless of which reason we credit for the changes that most affect our lives or whether we see them as positive or negative, society is at times slowly, and other times rapidly, adapting to the change.