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Showing posts from December, 2019

2019 Was a Very Good Year for Civic Learning in Illinois

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by Shawn P. Healy, PhD, Democracy Program Director
With Winter Break in sight and the books on 2019 about to close, this year-end retrospective recaps what was a very good year for civic learning in Illinois.

2019 began with the promise of a renewed push for middle school civics, culminating in the #CivicsInTheMiddle Campaign. Representative Camille Lilly (D-Oak Park) sponsored legislation to require a semester of civics in middle school beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, embedding proven civic learning practices (direct instruction, discussion, service learning, and simulations).

The legislation sailed through the House by Spring Break, gaining a bi-partisan supermajority, and moved to the Senate under Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago). The formula repeated itself in the upper chamber, although the Senate committee hearing was more contentious, but by May 23, middle school civics cleared the Illinois General Assembly, once more with a filibuster-proof, bi-partisan vot…

#NCSS2019 Recap Blog

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by Mary Ellen Daneels, Civics Instructional Specialist
Last month, thousands of educators throughout the United States convened in Austin, Texas, for the 99th Annual National Council for the Social Studies conference. We asked a few of our colleagues in the Land of Lincoln to share their top takeaways for those who were not able to attend. Here are some ideas and resources for your consideration.



Dan Fouts from Maine West High School in Niles recommends the Drafting Table from the National Constitution Center for, "resources on how the language of the Constitution—within articles and amendments—was adapted before being put in final form. Great teaching moments await!"

Jason Janczak from Grayslake Central High School in Grayslake recommends two civics resources.
My Part of the Story by Facing History and Ourselves can be used to "Learn how you can help guide students to find their place in the identity of the United States and how each person’s story contributes to th…