The events of 2020 have made clear that our work as civic educators, to empower our youth with the ability to make positive change, is now more urgent than ever. Legal scholar Martha Minow has observed that one of the biggest barriers individuals face in getting involved is the difficulty of knowing what actual steps to take: “Oftentimes, we see something that’s unjust and we wonder, ‘Where do I go? What do I do?”
This professional development series will consist of three interactive online workshops exploring a unit of activities and lessons that will inspire, empower, and prepare your students to take ownership of their own civic agency in confronting societal injustices and inequities.
Participants will receive resources and teaching strategies to support student-led civic action projects that inspire students to use their voices, strengthen their civic agency, and choose to participate in democracy today.
As a result of this workshop, educators will:
Explore our new Facing History resource on Civic Education, “From Reflection to Action: A Choosing to Participate Toolkit.”
- Walk away with planning tools for student-led civic action projects that will empower them to take meaningful action in their communities.
- Analyze historical and contemporary case studies of youth-led activism.
- Learn a new way of structuring curriculum to help students connect history to their own lives and the choices they make today.
- Practice teaching strategies and classroom activities that reinforce historical thinking and critical literacy skills.
- Receive ongoing curricular support and consultation with Facing History facilitators.
We will model teaching strategies and activities that reflect both in-person and remote learning contexts.
The series will consist of three live online sessions of 90 minutes. This will be a curricular focused workshop series that will be highly interactive. Registrants are encouraged to attend all three sessions to the best of their ability. Live sessions will not be recorded but materials will be made available.
Live Session #1: The Tools for Change and Justice
What are the knowledge, skills and dispositions that young people need to create a more just, inclusive, and equitable world? We will learn about Facing History’s five essential practices for effective civic agency and participate in teaching activities that engage students in lessons about power, the universe of obligation, and the common good. This session will provide the foundation for student-led civic action projects, which will be further developed in sessions two and three.
Live Session #2: Learning From Youth Activists in History and Today
Effective civic action should be guided by and rooted in the study of historical as well as contemporary examples of real-world youth activism. We will analyze the approaches and strategies employed by youth activists in selected historical and contemporary movements for change, as case studies that model for students how to engage in effective civic action of their own.
In learning about historical and contemporary challenges and progress through studying the choices and actions of individuals, Facing History and Ourselves students realize that for democracies to thrive, people must participate. Students will also realize the power of their own choices and actions, and gain knowledge, skills, and dispositions that inspire and empower their civic agency.
Live Session #3: Teacher Panel and Workshop: From Reflection to Action
In our final session, we will learn with and from a dynamic group of experienced educators who will share how they have structured their classrooms to support civic action projects and civic participation. Participants will receive tangible teaching ideas and materials and have time for collaboration with other participants in their grade level as they plan their own student-led civic action projects to implement this year, as required by the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Online meetings will be held on:
1. Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021 (3:30 - 5:00pm ET)
2. Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 (3:30 - 5:00pm ET)
3. Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021 (3:30 - 5:00pm ET)
This workshop series will be held via Zoom. Details for joining the Zoom meetings will be shared by e-mail prior to the event.
This workshop is aligned to the Massachusetts History and Social Studies Civics Frameworks. Educators from other New England states beyond Massachusetts are also welcome, and those from outside New England will be able to participate if space allows.