The events of 2020 make it clear that our work as civic educators is now more urgent than ever to empower our youth with the ability to make positive change. Legal scholar Martha Minow has observed that one of the biggest barriers that individuals face in getting involved is that it is hard to know what actual steps to take: “Often times, we see something that’s unjust and we wonder, ‘Where do I go? What do I do?”
This professional development series will consist of four 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, teaching strategies and examples of student-centered 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 four live online sessions of 90 minutes. This will be a curricular focused workshop series that will be highly interactive. 20-40 minutes of offline work will be assigned between sessions. Registrants are encouraged to attend all four 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. We will explore the concept of transitional justice as a tool to help individuals identify problems and the various ways to take concrete action.
Live Session #2: Learning From the Past - A Historical Case Study of Youth Activism
Effective civic action should be guided by and rooted in a deep study of historical examples. For an example of youth-led direct action, we need to look no further than a California movement that began 50 years ago. The struggle for Ethnic Studies was a highly strategic and deeply impactful movement that serves as a critical case study of the civic knowledge, skills and dispositions needed for social activism. We will analyze the approaches and strategies utilized in the Ethnic Studies movement in order to inform the strategies of today’s movements. As the struggle for Ethnic Studies continues, this remains an important case study to connect our students with historical movements and current events today.
Live Session #3: What Can We Do Now? - A Case Study of Youth Activism Today
In learning about historical moments through the choices and actions of individuals, Facing History and Ourselves students often realize the power of their own choices and actions. They realize that for democracies to thrive, people must participate. In many of the pressing issues we face today, our youth are rewriting the script that tells us how to think, behave, and treat one another. If we want our students to participate in civil society, then we need to analyze examples of real-world youth activism from not only the past but also the present. What can our students learn from current movements that reveal what knowledge, skills and dispositions are needed to inspire and empower civic agency?
Live Session #4: Roundtable: From Reflection to Action
In our final session, we will learn with and from a dynamic group of experienced educators and student leaders about how they have structured their classroom and school environments to support civic action projects and foster a disposition for civic participation. Participants will receive tangible teaching ideas and materials, and have time for collaboration with other participants in their grade level.
Offline materials will be sent out Thursday Jan. 7th. Online meetings will then be held on:
- Thursday Jan. 14, 2021 (3:30 - 5:00pm PT / 4:30 - 6:00pm MT)
- Thursday Jan. 21, 2021 (3:30 - 5:00pm PT / 4:30 - 6:00pm MT)
- Thursday Feb. 4, 2021 (3:30 - 5:00pm PT / 4:30 - 6:00pm MT)
- Thursday Feb. 11, 2021 (3:30 - 5:00pm PT / 4:30 - 6:00pm MT)
This workshop will be held via Zoom. Details for joining the Zoom meeting will be shared by e-mail prior to the event.
This workshop is intended for middle and high school social studies, civics, and humanities teachers in California, Oregon, Arizona, Nevada and Washington. Educators from other states and territories will be placed on a waitlist and considered if seats are available.