Educating for Democracy

Newsletter  |  March 18th, 2019
“Part of our job is to teach young people how to talk with one another, especially with people who have differing views.” -- Diana Hess

The tense state of our current political climate means the role of discussion is an increasingly important tool for youth to participate in our democracy. In their blog post Talking Across Political Differences, Heather Van Benthuysen and Erica Hodgin discuss what it means for schools and educators to teach youth to engage in civic deliberation. They also offer resources that guide educators on implementing discussions about controversial topics in the classrooms. Check out their blog post and the videos below to find out what civic deliberation can look like with your students.   
The Importance of High Quality Discussions

Civic discussion and deliberation leads to improved communication, critical thinking skills, civic knowledge, and a higher chance of future civic engagement. 
Structured Academic Controversy (SAC)

Students dig into difficult controversial issues by reading and analyzing text, developing respectful group discussion skills, practicing building consensus, and writing (informal) policy statements. 
Student Centered Civic Discussion and Deliberation

Students reflect, discuss, and communicate what they have learned about a complex issue they researched through small group and large group collaborative discussions.  

Youth and Civic Media

Join us this Spring for an 8-week online course uncovering how civic learning and participation has changed in the digital age. Using the KQED Teach professional learning platform, this course will help educators develop the skills that support youth to enact core participatory practices. At the end of the course, educators will create a civic media project that can be implemented in their own classrooms. Early bird discounts offered until March 26.

Reserve a spot today!

Other Resources

Two reports issued by UCLA's Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access (IDEA) highlight the social issues confronting American high schools during this increasingly divisive political climate.
You can access both reports here:

March 2019 - School and Society in the Age of Trump

October 2017 - Teaching and Learning in the Age of Trump

About the Educating for Democracy Newsletter: This periodic newsletter highlights new resources that promote equitable civic education for the digital age and shares recently added materials to the Teaching Channel’s Educating for Democracy Deep Dive. If you are not already signed up to get this newsletter, you can do so here.
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