Teaching the Reconstruction Era and the Fragility of Democracy | Facing History & Ourselves
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Professional Learning

Teaching the Reconstruction Era and the Fragility of Democracy

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About this event:


Our multi-session professional learning series are designed for in-depth exploration of themes and topics that help educators strengthen their skills and competencies. Session information is included in the event details.

Instructor-Led & Self-Paced

This professional learning event will be led by Facing History staff and also contains portions that are self-paced and delivered virtually. When you register, you will receive instructions for how access and participate in the event.

This event qualifies for ISBE (Illinois).

Up to 7 clock hours (CPDU's) for Illinois-certified educators will be offered for full participation.

Democracy & Civic Engagement Racism
Civic Education

In this workshop you will:

  1. Increase their ability to facilitate respectful classroom discussions on difficult issues such as racism, antisemitism, and other forms of exclusion in a way that invites personal reflection and critical analysis

  2. Learn a new way of structuring curriculum to help students connect history to their own lives and the choices they make

  3. Engage with classroom-ready multimedia resources and learn how to build a customized unit that meets your curriculum objectives

  4. Discover new teaching strategies that help students interrogate text, think critically, and discuss controversial issues respectfully

How does society rebuild after extraordinary division and trauma, when the ideals and values of democracy are most vulnerable? We will explore this significant period in U.S. history, when Americans were faced with the challenge of restoring a nation amid the social and political upheaval of the civil war.

Who should take this mini-course: This unit is intended for implementation in high school US History. Priority will be given to participants from Chicago Public Schools but applicants from across the country are welcome to apply.

Independent evaluation has shown that implementing Facing History’s approach improves students’ higher-order thinking skills, increases students’ civic efficacy and engagement with civic matters, and increases students’ tolerance for others who hold contrary views from their own.

Duration: This workshop series will take place over 3 days. One hour of pre-reading will be sent in advance of the workshop. Day one will include a two hour synchronous workshop on Zoom (2 hours). Day two will include 2 hours of reading asynchronously. Day three will include a two hour synchronous workshop on Zoom (2 hours). 

  • Pre-work, prior to October 24: one hour of reading 
  • Day 1, October 24: two hour synchronous/live virtual workshop, 4pm - 6pm CT
  • Day 2, October 25: two hours asynchronous reading & activities
  • Day 3, October 26: two hour synchronous/live virtual workshop, 4pm - 6pm CT

Time commitment: Approximately 7 hours.

The 2-hour live learning sessions will not be recorded and will take place on Zoom on the following dates:

  • Live Learning Sessions (4:00-6:00 pm CST)
  • Call #1: October 24
  • Call #2: October 26

Cost: Free. The registration fee and event fee for this online course have been waived thanks to generous funding from Facing History & Ourselves donors and partner organizations.

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