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Showing posts from January, 2021

The First 100 Days

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by Mary Ellen Daneels, Civics Instructional Specialist The past week has been a testament to the importance of the work we do together to prepare students for civic life. Teachers have risen to the challenge of the recent violence at the Capitol. A special Social Studies Network Chat on Twitter (#sschat) on the evening of the riots provided a safe space for teachers to process, ask questions, and share resources as they prepared to meet students the next day. Through the  Illinois Civics Hub Facebook group, teachers collaborated in real time to curate materials for classroom use. Illinois Civics endeavored to support classrooms with curated materials to address questions about insurrection, the 25th Amendment, impeachment, and discussion strategies appropriate for this time. On Monday, Civics 101 Podcast was the host of the weekly #sschat centered on the theme of Transitions of Power . The final question of the night asked, “How has teaching during this election cycle changed th

Be a Guardian of Democracy: Strategies for Current and Controversial Issue Discussions

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by Sue Khalaieff, Democracy Schools Network Manager The second session of the Civics Across the Curriculum webinar series was held on Thursday, January 7, 2021. This year’s theme builds on the theme from the originally scheduled Democracy Schools Network Spring 2020 convening, “Every Teacher is a Civics Teacher: Best Practices for Civic Learning and Organizational Supports.” View a recording of the session . The program featured Alia Blumlein, Prairie Ridge High School Social Studies Instructor, and Tracy Freeman, Normal West High School Social Studies Department Chair. It was facilitated by Mary Ellen Daneels, Civics Instructional Specialist, Illinois Civic Mission Coalition.  The presenters spoke about their experience with the Guardians of Democracy  online course in Current and Controversial Issue Discussions and how their professional practice has been enhanced as a result of it. Specifically, both noted these advantages: having a reliable, steady pool of resources to utilize