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Civics

Teaching Students the Analysis Skills to Fight Truth Decay

February 18, 2021 By Dr. Aaron Willis

The skills and content taught in science and social studies are often relegated to a secondary importance when compared to literacy and math. We can see this in how districts allocate funding and what states decide to test. However, while social studies skills are often taken for granted, the current political climate in the United States demands that we revisit, analyze, and update the skills that students will need not only to be successful in their future workplace but most importantly to be able to contribute to a healthy social dialogue as active citizens. We need to be able to have civil conversations about how we want to live together as a nation, what values we want to give priority to, and how we understand our past in order to promote a robust and healthy national future.

Capitalism, Socialism, Communism: Distinguishing Important Economic Concepts

February 5, 2021 By Cynthia Resor

Capitalism, socialism, and communism are three key concepts in social studies, with complex definitions and complicated histories. Explaining these concepts in the classroom is muddled even more by how these words are used in modern media. The meaning is often obscured by political alliances and deliberate attempts to mislead.

The History behind Presidential Transitions in the United States

January 14, 2021 By Monet Hendricks

American democracy began as an experiment. Historically, nations around the world were empires founded on a hierarchy of monarchs or dictatorship. The founding fathers implemented the US Constitution to ensure that the new nation would be different and represent the interests of all individuals rather than aristocrats—hence the creation of our democratic two-party system of government and the electoral college voting system that elects the presiding members of the executive branch.

The Importance of Establishing Democracy in Elementary Classrooms

October 28, 2020 By Sheree Turner, Ph.D.

America was built on democracy, a set of rules that governs the people in a state or country. Most elementary classrooms can follow this same doctrine by establishing rules and polices that guide and govern activities in that classroom.

A Brief History of the Right to Vote

October 26, 2020 By Monet Hendricks

Determining whether voting is a right or a privilege has been a battleground for states to control who can cast a ballot in elections. Technically, states regulate eligible voters, but, through the course of history, the US federal government has made several key decisions that have altered those requirements in an attempt to create more equality in the voting process.

A Timeline of African American History in the United States

June 19, 2020 By Monet Hendricks

Across the country and the world, people are rallying behind the Black Lives Matter movement to enact change in a system that has historically been unjust to people of color. Our company recognizes the struggles African Americans have faced throughout history and think now is the time to elevate the voices of the unheard.

Building Active Citizenship Skills Through Community Relationships

June 10, 2020 By Sheree Turner, Ph.D.

Participatory citizenship is the act of citizens actively participating through community and political life to build a democracy that respects human rights. Currently, members and allies of the Black Lives Matter movement are partaking in their First Amendment right to protest, aiming to enact change for police reform and civil rights, which offers a unique teaching opportunity to encourage active citizenship. How can we find other ways to help our students understand the importance of becoming an active citizen today?

Applying Learned Concepts: Fostering Inquiry in History, Geography, Economics, and Civics

November 7, 2019 By Karla Wienhold

Think back to a moment when you as a student sat in a social studies class and struggled to spit out a memorized date of an important event your teacher said would be integral to remember. Were those moments as dreadful for you as they were for me?

How to Teach Students to Identify Bias in a Primary Source

May 30, 2019 By Kevin Gregory

Early in the school year, students often ask me, “why do I need a history class?” They go on to say they know why science, math, and English are taught, but they don't know why they need to learn so many random dates and historical facts. They are skeptical about memorizing facts from the past and its relevance to their future.  I generally respond by saying something along the lines of, “you don’t need to memorize everything,” because a vast amount of information is readily available to today’s students online, but I emphasize that there's more to history and social studies than just dates and figures.

3 Books to Support Geography and/or Civics in the Classroom

January 16, 2019 By Jessica Hayes

 My last post was about quality novels to teach in the American history classroom. I would like to follow it up with some books teachers can include in their geography and civics class. In Alabama, we devote a semester each to geography and civics during the seventh grade. Often, it can seem that there is not enough time to fit in everything that we need to cover during that time frame. However, the following books are short enough to read in these classes, but “pack a punch” of information.