It’s been a long year.
So perhaps a reminder of our fundamental rights is a good idea. So . . . after taking a trip in the Wayback Machine, I found this earlier post in the History Tech archives. I think it still fits.
Okay . . . admit it. How many of you didn’t know that today is Bill of Rights Day?
Come on, it’s okay.
Yes, I see those hands.
I first ran across Bill of Rights Day a few years ago. I consider myself a person who keeps up with this sort of thing but I had no idea. Back in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 15 to be Bill of Rights Day, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. So it’s been around a while.
And we probably need to make a bigger deal out of this than we are. Civic literacy and understanding of the nuance embedded in the first 10 Amendments seems a bit low right about now.
FDR observed in 1941 that Read more
An essay and lecture by Time’s Nancy Gibbs recently caught my attention. I wasn’t looking for it. But in between several other tasks, I happened to pick up the latest issue. And there she was.
I’ve been thinking about civic engagement a lot lately. And how important it is. About how we’ve not done a very good job of teaching those skills to our students. About how that is now coming back to bite us in the butt.
This isn’t anything new to most of you. We all see divisiveness. We read hate. We hear attacks. So do our kids. Civil discourse. Compromise. The greater good. Melting pot. We’re all in this together. All things that seem to be in short supply.
The cool thing is that our students want that to change. And are willing to help make it happen. Our job? Simple. Read more
The last session of the NSSSA conference (my version of a #NCSS17 precon) was a quick overview of the Generation Citizen group’s work on creating civically engaged students. And with the Kansas BOE’s vision of a K-12 Civic Engagement coming online, I was curious how their ideas and practices can help teachers in Kansas.
I’ve poked around their site and explored a few of their tools but loved hearing from Sarah, director of programming, and Caitlan, Bay Area Program Manager, talk about specifics. (I especially loved their very intentional low-tech presentation style. Large sticky paper. Colored construction paper for highlights. Markers. Very nice!)
There really is some cool things that their team is doing around the country. And while Generation Citizen is choosing to focus most of its work on specific areas around the country rather than a full blown national campaign, there are a few things people can take away from their work. Read more
This week, Geography Awareness Week celebrates 30 years of geo goodness. Established in 1987, the week is designed to promote geography and highlight the relevance of a geographic education in preparing citizens to understand and debate pressing social and environmental issues and problems.
This year’s theme focuses on the Geography of Civil Rights Movements. A recent American Association of Geographers press release suggests that a “civil rights-themed Geography Awareness Week can be an important moment, especially during these turbulent political times, to come to terms with the nation’s unreconciled legacies of oppression and domination.”
The AAG goes on: Read more
“As a mapmaker, I can have more impact on an election than a campaign. More of an impact than a candidate. When, I as a mapmaker, have more of an impact on an election than the voters, the system is out of whack.”
Republican redistricting consultant following 1990 Census
I don’t think we spend enough time having kids explore the whole gerrymandering thing as part of our government / civics engagement instruction. David is right. And I don’t think enough of us understand the power that redistricting can have on the democractic process.
Quick primer. Gerrymandering is the legislative act of creating voting maps that favor your particular political party. And according to a recent Wired article, it usually involves one of two different tools: Read more
Here in the great state of Kansas, we’re busy working to develop and implement a standards-based assessment tool that needs to measure a ton of things. Historical thinking. Reading. Writing. Problem solving. Connecting past with contemporary issues.
Oh . . . and civic engagement.
And not just the book learnin’ civic engagement as in . . . there are three branches of government and you need to vote and people can demonstrate and there is a Bill of Rights and it’s a good idea to help others.
Our Kansans Can state board vision requires civic engagement that involves students actually doing something. Getting out of the classroom. Increasing voter registration. Raising awareness and funds for malaria mosquito nets. Organizing a Breast Cancer 5K run. Creating and staffing an after-school club for latch key kids. Buddy programs that connect new students with current students.
So how do you measure that? What can that look like K-12? Yeah . . . well. We’re not completely sure yet. But lots of people are working on it – including official KSDE civic engagement guy and social studies guru Don Gifford. Don recently communicated some of his personal professional learning with Kansas educators and I want to share what he’s starting to figure out. Because it seems like the sort of stuff that can help not just Kansas teachers but Read more