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  Making Civics Real: A Workshop for Teachers  
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Student Perspectives

The students profiled in the eight workshop programs were interviewed several times during the course of the lesson featured in each program. Here you can read their reflections on the featured lesson and their thoughts about civics and constructivist learning.

Student Perspectives
These ninth-grade students at Southwest High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota were enrolled in Kristen Borges’s Team 9 Arts and Humanities Civics class when they participated in this lesson on freedom of religion. Here they discuss their experiences role-playing as lawyers and Supreme Court justices in a simulation of a Supreme Court trial dealing with the First Amendment. They reflect on the impact their teacher’s constructivist methodologies have had on their level of interest and learning.

Student Perspectives
These 12th-grade students at University High School in Newark, New Jersey were enrolled in Jose Velazquez’s Law in Action course when they participated in this lesson on electoral politics. Here they discuss their experiences participating in the Student Voices Project, in which they identified and researched issues of importance to youth, studied the positions of candidates for mayor, and created a Youth Issues Agenda for presentation to the mayoral candidates.

Student Perspectives
These ninth-grade students at West Forsyth High School in Clemmons, North Carolina were enrolled in Leslie Martin’s Economic, Legal and Political Systems class when they participated in this lesson on public policy and the Federal budget. The students discuss their experience creating a Federal budget. First, they worked in cooperative-learning groups to develop a budget that reflected the priorities of the executive branch and later represented a member of Congress in a Congressional budget hearing.

Student Perspectives
These 12th-grade students at Benjamin Banneker Senior High School in Washington, D.C. were enrolled in Matt Johnson’s AP Comparative Government class when they participated in this lesson on the constitutional convention. They reflect on a simulation in which students worked in cooperative groups to develop a constitution for a hypothetical country and then engaged in a full-class debate to determine what constitutional provisions they would adopt.

Student Perspectives
These 12th-grade students at Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. were enrolled in Alice Chandler’s U.S. Government class when they participated in this lesson on patriotism and foreign policy. Here they discuss their experiences using their arts interests to create a Museum of Patriotism and Foreign Policy.

Student Perspectives
These 11th- and 12th-grade students at Anoka High School in Anoka, Minnesota were enrolled in Bill Mittlefehldt’s Human Geography course when they participated in this lesson on civic engagement. Here they reflect on a service learning project in which they identify a community problem, select a student partner with a similar interest, identify a community partner and make a presentation first before their classmates and ultimately before the City Council.

Student Perspectives
These 12th-grade students at Champlin Park High School in Champlin, Minnesota were enrolled in JoEllen Ambrose’s Social Studies 12 Law class when they participated in this lesson on controversial public policy issues. Here they discuss their experience participating in a structured academic debate on the topic of racial profiling.

Student Perspectives
These 12th-grade students at Benjamin Banneker Senior High School in Washington, D.C. were enrolled in Matt Johnson’s Constitutional Law class when they participated in this lesson on the rights and responsibilities of students. Here, they reflect on the simulation of a Supreme Court trial on a hypothetical case involving student rights. Students began the lesson by preparing and presenting a brief on a case that they had previously studied. They then divided into groups and prepared to either appeal or respond to a specific hypothetical case. The lesson concluded with the decision of the Court and an ensuing discussion.

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