History Nerdfest 2018: Fostering Civil Dialogue
It ranks right up there with the Holiday season, KC Chiefs football, and the first weekend of the college basketball tournament. It’s National Council for the Social Studies conference week. I’m lucky enough to get front row seats and am trying to live blog my way through it.
If there’s a theme running through my choose of session this week, this would be it. How can we encourage and support conversations around controversial topics? How can we tie current events to broader topics and past events without . . . you know, setting stuff on fire and throwing desks?
First session of the day is a focus on that issue. The Newseum and the Religious Freedom Center are part of the larger Freedom Forum Institute. The Institute concentrates on the first five constitutional Amendments and this morning, Ben and Jessi are walking us through how we can protect the Amendments through civil conversations.
And full transparency . . . I’m a Newseum fanboy. Their @NewseumEd stuff is phenomenal. So start there and then come back here.
Informed and respectful are the buzzwords for this morning – with a specific focus on religious freedom and the First Amendment. A problem that Jessi points out is that most students have no idea of what the First Amendment protects and what rights it ensures.
Ben points out the two parts of the Amendment’s free exercise and free establishment clauses. Public school teachers are required, by the establishment clause, to remain neutral around the topic of religion. Private school teachers are governed by the free exercise clause. But it still all comes down to teaching religion or teaching about religion. There’s a difference. What is allowed?
So . . . how can we facilitate civil discourse around religion (and other topics)? Read more