Teaching Civic Engagement


I love teaching government. I have always identified as an active citizen and a politics lover and I want to encourage a similar passion in my students. Coming to Boston, where the focus is on the civic mission of school, I am hoping that I am going to get some new ideas to bring back to Washington. As president of the WSCSS, I am hoping that we can continue to support the civic mission of school in our own state.

The session was a good overview of where civics education is, what are the best approaches to civics instruction and the best civic education that is happening in classrooms across the country. Walter Parker was definitely the highlight with some great analogies about trees, a solar system, and nachos. I definitely was reminded of the need to continue to come back to topics I have covered in my government classes. Walter talked about the spiral of instruction, in which classes come back to topics with multiple examples and in multiple ways, which encouraged me to continue to come back to the Constitution, the separation of powers, and individual rights over and over again.

I also deeply enjoyed the discussion of the in classroom research on what good government classes look like. Everyday I wish to get my students to engage in the ideas of the day. The best days are the ones where I talk the least and the students talk the most. It is good to know that this is what the best of government classes should look like.

What would you put over the door of all American schools to instill the values of civic engagement and citizenship in all students? Great question to end on.

Posted on November 21, 2014 .