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Showing posts from August, 2018

#CivicsIsBack in School!

by Mary Ellen Daneels, Lead Teacher Mentor
Best-selling author Gretchen Rubin has declared that “September is the new January,” signaling that for many of us, the new school year marks new beginnings and an opportunity to put those summer resolutions into practice.

As Shawn has highlighted in his recent blog posts, the #CivicsIsBack campaign is designed to support teachers, schools, and districts throughout Illinois in implementing the new high school civics course requirement and related, revised K-12 social studies standards. Leading the way in this endeavor are regional mentors seeded throughout the state of Illinois to support teachers in their areas with resources to enhance classroom practice. You can contact your regional mentor through the illinoiscivics.org website or at a regional workshop in your area.

As you prepare to return to the classroom, here are some of our favorite resources at #CivicsIsBack to start the school year.
Engage student voice in setting classroom…

Students in Civics Courses Building Skills, Becoming More Involved in Their Communities

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by Shawn P. Healy, PhD, Democracy Program Director
This post represents the third and final analysis of year two evaluation data provided by the Center for Information Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) on our #CivicsIsBack Campaign in Illinois to support implementation of the new high school civics course and K-12 social studies standards. The first piece provided a broad overview of the findings, and the second did a deep dive on the results of our Illinois Civics Teacher Mentor program. This concluding post will further analyze the student outcomes data touched upon in the preliminary piece.

More than 3,000 Illinois high school students completed surveys during the 2018-2019 school year measuring their exposure to proven civic learning practices and a stand-alone civics course, along with related civic dispositions and behaviors. They attended schools affiliated with teacher mentors and span from the suburbs of Chicago and St. Louis to rural communities throughout…

Illinois Civics Teacher Mentors: Classroom Trailblazers, Trusted Colleagues

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by Shawn P. Healy, PhD, Democracy Program Director
Two weeks ago, I summarized a comprehensive evaluation of our #CivicsIsBack course and standards implementation efforts two years into a three year cycle. Today’s post will delve further into our findings from thirty Illinois Civics Teacher Mentors that completed the survey. They serve as our foot soldiers in implementing these policies in every county in the state, providing frontline support to teachers, schools, and districts in their respective regions.

Twenty-eight of the thirty mentors that completed the survey are currently in the classroom and they reach a combined 1,759 students annually. Mentors reported hosting workshops and giving presentations to other teachers as well as college students in education programs. They also emailed teachers and administrators with suggested resources to further curricular integration.

In line with the encouraging student outcomes illustrated in the previous post, mentors reported strong s…