Civics advocate Shawn McCusker doesn’t agree with a noted professor’s premise that there’s no hope for democracy, but “I do agree that our failure to prepare our citizens for the responsibilities of democracy is an existential crisis.” Learn what he urges educators to do.
If we do not invest more of our school time and resources in creating well educated citizens, there will be dire consequences. Educators Shawn McCusker and Tom Driscoll offer educators five steps to make civic education more meaningful and help contribute to a healthy democracy.
Giving students examples of how to fight against hate and injustice and for their rights and the rights of their fellow human beings is critical to a healthy democracy. Rita Platt shines a light on Jewish, black, and native American freedom fighters and protestors.
After three hate crimes in one week in late October, 8th grade teacher Sarah Cooper came in on Monday ready to talk, “to imagine how we could react in healing ways.” Yet, as her first class began, “I realized this conversation would be different. As a Jew, I felt shaken.”
Media literacy expert Frank Baker participated in an August conference to introduce educators to a major new curriculum from Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation – “Portraits of America: Democracy on Film” – which will be available free to educators. Here’s his report.
How can teachers broach the topic as civic protest becomes more visible in society? NBCT Rita Platt offers resources for student reading and discussion “because learning to thoughtfully communicate ideas and entertain the ideas of others is a cornerstone of democracy.”
Bit by bit, during each Friday’s 43-minute current events session, Sarah Cooper’s eighth graders come closer to a democratic classroom culture that students really own – through their ideas, through their questions, through their wondering how the world works.
Before middle school students can become lovers of stories and savvy assessors of fake news and false claims, they must be creative readers who comprehend texts at high levels and empathize with characters and people, says literacy expert and advocate Laura Robb.