Massachusetts, as part of reform that builds civic education into the curriculum each year from Kindergarten through high school, passed a law in 2018 to require that each student be offered an opportunity to participate in a student-led civic engagement project in middle school and in high school. As teachers and schools embark on planning for how the student-led projects will be organized, it will be valuable to think about what will support full participation by students with disabilities in this important new opportunity.
How can we teach students the most vital skills to function as citizens? Since the early 19th century, preparation for civic life has been the central reason for public schools. As part of a multi-year effort to reinvigorate the civic mission of schools, in 2016 the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) added “readiness for civic life” to its core definition of what it means to be educated in the state. http://www.doe.mass.edu/ccr/
“I’ve found that if I pick the right primary sources…[I can make the lesson more accessible]. For example, I just gave some students an evacuation poster (after Order 9066 [–forcing Japanese relocation to camps]) that was selected for its minimal text which was heavy on vocabulary they would know or be able to figure out such as dates and places. I gave other students letters to the editor about the Japanese American “evacuation” and internment, and also used political cartoons.
Pi Day has become a celebration of growing festivity in many American educational settings. March 14, as expressed 3.14 in ‘month.day’ notation, is an opportunity to talk about π*, to have a celebration that connects to science and geometry, and to brighten the muddy days of March with the pleasures of pie.
On the EmergingAmerica.org website, we are gathering resources that teachers can use to expand their repertoire of strategies for supporting all learners. The Minnesota Historical Society has published a series of brief educational videos for new and experienced teachers. Each 10 minute segment introduces the concepts of culturally relevant pedagogy and the ways that using primary sources expands students’ understanding of history.
The Eugenics movement in the early 20th century United States, a pseudo-scientific amalgamation of social Darwinist philosophy and animal breeding management, gained widespread approval across the country and influenced many internationally, most notably in the the Nazi racial policies of the era leading up to World War II. This primary source set includes newspaper articles, photographs, cartoons, notes on legal cases, a video interview with a man sterilized without consent when he was a boy, a radio report on non-conse
Each week, History eNews posts links to current highlights in the TPS (Teaching with Primary Sources) Teachers Network. While the ideas and discussion are well worth logging in for, the sharing-friendly Albums tool may transform how you create and share sets of primary sources–with your classroom, with colleagues, even with Facebook and any social media where you share links with others.
EMERGING AMERICA HISTORY eNEWS Vol. 6, Issue 3 for January 23, 2019
“Every student deserves to study history and social science every year, from pre-kindergarten through grade 12.”