An essay and lecture by Time’s Nancy Gibb’s 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
I first met Tim Bailey several years ago when he was the Gilder Lehrman master teacher during our Century of Progress TAH project. And he was awesome. Our teachers loved his ideas and resources. During today’s afternoon #NSSSA17 session, I got the chance to learn more from Tim.
Tim highlighted several different ideas from the Gilder Lehrman Teaching Literacy Through History lesson plan database – all immediately useable.
I love a couple of his quotes:
- Be a guide, not an interpreter.
- Primary sources are the closest thing to time travel.
Tim started by sharing What we as social studies teachers should be doing: Read more
In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a lot of yelling going on. Social media. Cable news. Local coffee shops. People disagreeing, not getting along, refusing to compromise their “values.”
And school classrooms can seem like a safe space where we can protect our students from all of that ugliness. Education Week survey data gathered back in February suggested that many teachers find it difficult to talk about race, politics, and other controversial topics. Almost 30 percent expressly avoid it completely. Part of the problem is that many of us – 44 percent – don’t feel prepared to lead conversations that might get emotional.
So . . . two questions here. Read more
Some of the best days of the school year are when I get the chance to spend time with the #ESSDACK social studies PLC. Yesterday was one of those days. We talked about a ton of things including the idea of Twitter chats as a professional learning tool. Most of the group already have Twitter accounts and some like , , , and are more serious users. But it was fun working together with the whole group to do a sample online chat with everyone in the room at the same time, exploring the power of scheduled chats. Lots of learning and discussion.
But I’m always amazed at the rabbit hole that you can fall into once you start with the Twitters. And yesterday was no different. As several of us were exploring different social studies hashtags, I ran across something called the World’s Largest Lesson.
The goal of the WLL is simple – support and foster the idea of Sustainable Development Goals.
Several years ago, a ton of world leadership folks got together and finalized 17 different things that will make the world a better place. They titled them the Sustainable Development Goals.
Basic stuff like zero hunger, quality education, reduced inequalities, peace and justice. Yeah. The biggies. Saving the world kinds of things.
The cool thing is that they also developed a plan for actually finding ways to make it happen. To follow through and find solutions.
Another cool thing? Read more