Are your students ready to become the engaged and informed citizens our democracy needs right now? Your classroom can be a place for them to experience what it means to live in community with others, to balance their own interests with those of the group, to challenge themselves to overcome differences, and to ask the questions that help them understand the crux of an issue.
Powerful reading and writing is fundamentally linked to civic education. The Civically Engaged Classroom is packed with practical guidance designed to support teachers in giving students the skills, knowledge, and tools to be active participants in society. Each chapter describes classroom structures, curricular possibilities, and specific lessons for teaching crucial civic virtues, including:
- acknowledging identity, bias, and privilege
- building background knowledge
- close and critical reading and ethical research skills
- composing nuanced stances in writing
- building coalitions and engaging in activism.
The work of engaging young people isn't about giving students a voice: they already have their own voices. The work is about teaching them to use those voices with power.
If you are an educator and are interested in joining a community of practice dedicated to preparing the citizens this world needs right now, then the Coalition of Civically Engaged Educators is for you Visit https: //www.civically-engaged.org to learn more.
Mary Ehrenworth, Senior Deputy Director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project and co-editor for the Units of Study for Teaching Reading, Middle School series, works with schools and districts around the globe, and is a frequent keynote speaker at Project events and national and international conferences. Mary's interest in critical literacies, deep interpretation, and reading and writing for social justice all inform the books she has authored or co-authored in the Reading and Writing Units of Study series as well as her many articles and other books on instruction and leadership. You can connect with her on Twitter @MaryEhrenworth. Pablo Wolfe is a Washington DC-based educator who promotes civic education as a means to improve student engagement, celebrate student identity, and embolden the next generation of citizens. He's been a public school administrator, a staff developer with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, a teacher, and a parent, and in all of these roles has sought to make school a training ground for civic life. He is the co-author of The Civically Engaged Classroom: Reading, Writing, and Speaking for Change and the Unit of Study: Historical Fiction Book Clubs. His work has also been featured in School Library Journal and Middleweb Blog. Pablo is the Founder and Executive Director of the Coalition of Civically Engaged Educators, a national K-12 community of practice for civic-minded educators who seek to improve student outcomes and transform schools. Pablo is also a Visiting Fellow at the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University. Whether planning town hall meetings with groups of 7th graders, writing letters to elected officials, or organizing opportunities for service learning, Pablo believes that academic skills are best learned when applied towards addressing injustices. A strong believer in the role of teachers as agents of social change, he strives to thread this idea through his writing, staff development and teaching. You can connect with Pablo on Twitter @pablowolfe and apply to join CCEE, at www.civically-engaged.org Marc Todd teaches Social Studies at IS 289, the Hudson River Middle School in New York, and is a national presenter for the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. He collaborates with teachers around the world and leads workshops and institutes on culturally relevant pedagogy and teaching students to be critical readers of history. Marc believes in immersing kids in nonfiction reading and making notebook work inside of content classes both serious and joyful. He incorporates Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed and Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed into his curriculum. You can connect with him on Twitter @marctoddnyc.