Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Making Civics Real Workshop 8: Rights and Responsibilities of Students  
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Workshop 7

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Teacher Perspectives
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Teacher Perspectives: Hands-on learning and civic engagement

Matt Johnson: The lessons that I try and get the kids involved with force them to take on the material, whether it is a simulation or whether I've had kids actually redistrict a state to favor one party over another. I try and get the kids really engaged. I think by doing this kind of work, some of the more quiet kids, for example, have been forced to voice their opinions, to think about and react to controversial issues. The issues in these hypotheticals not only relate to them as students, there's also a parental twist to it. Many of them will be parents with high school-aged kids someday. It's forcing them to think about their rights, think about the Constitution. If it was just me lecturing to them, they might not develop any kind of passion for this. Even the quietest kid has to do something now in class. Hopefully that's getting them thinking about being active.

These teaching techniques include so much participation on the side of the student. That's really what we want people to do--participate in the civic process, the political process, the community process. I think by teaching this way, I'm reinforcing what it means to be a good citizen here in the United States.


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