This afternoon in Washington D.C. an event, “For Democracy’s Future: Education Reclaims Our Civic Mission,” kicked-off a national conversation on the importance of informed and engaged citizens.
The event marked the release of the U.S. Department of Education’s own report, “Civic Learning and Engagement in Democracy: A Road Map and Call to Action,” and highlights the American Commonwealth Partnership, which brings together schools, colleges and other civic partners to promote civic learning and civic identity throughout American education.
Individuals representing many groups from campuses and communities dedicated to reinvigorating democratic engagement gathered for the afternoon’s kick-off. (more…)
KIDS Consortium and the Maine Math and Science Alliance are collaborating on another two-part workshop in a couple of weeks for a group of out-of-school teachers and in-school teachers in Massachusetts called, Prepare and Inspire! Strategies for Blending Research-Based STEM Instruction with High Quality Service-Learning. The collaboration between KIDS and MMSA had yielded some great work over the last couple of years. You can learn more by visiting the Youth as Citizen Scientists: Data, Insight and Action through Service-Learning. While doing some prep for the workshop over the last couple of days I came across a few new links to STEM related information—all the links are relevant to integrating STEM and service-learning.
Links to get your STEM fix: (more…)
A couple of recent items–a piece of legislation and a new study regarding civic education:
- one to follow as it dances through the halls of Congress;
- one to read and discuss with everyone you know who interacts with youth, young adults, middle-aged adults or older adults–yeah, I mean discuss it with everyone–the findings are surprising. (more…)
Catching Up on the Civic Mission of School with the Guardian of Democracy: Inspiration for Civic Education and Engagement
Guardian of Democracy. Doesn’t that sound as if it could be a movie? Who would you place in the lead roles of such a film? Who would direct it? Well, never mind. It is not a movie. It is a report on civic education and civic engagement. Fade cut to the next scene…
Admit it. You have watched your favorite movie at least five times, haven’t you? So don’t start thinking that I am in left field for suggesting that you go back a reread one of your favorite reports on civic education from the last decade…I know, it is not the same as watching the Wizard of Oz in its original format. But I don’t think that we are in Kansas anymore (apologies to those of you in Kansas). (more…)
I continue to be energized by the broad base of educators usingtopics to engage youth in learning about their world, their community and themselves.
At KIDS, we are working with teachers to apply the best practices in civic engagement through our model of service learning with the best practices in science instruction. The initiative started as a grant funded by Learn and Serve America called Youth as Citizen Scientists. Use the link to read more about it. I’m giving you the abbreviated version here.
In 2009-10, a “Design Team” of experienced middle level STEM service-learning practitioners collaborated with KIDS and the Maine Math and Science Alliance to use Curriculum Topic Studies to integrate innovative, research-based instructional strategies into their students service-learning projects. One focus was to explore how middle level students collect, analyze and apply data to authentic problems in their schools and communities. This focus really helped students with data!
In 2010-11 “Expansion Sites” were added, allowing more teachers and more students to build on the knowledge and experience of the “Design Team.” Check out the projects!
This year teachers are disseminating what they have learned by presenting at conferences and through a soon to be published STEM and service-learning supplement (STEM S-L Guide) to KIDS as Planners: a Guide to Strengthening Students, Schools and Communities through Service-Learning. More about the STEM S-L Guide in the coming weeks.
Love to hear about your STEM related efforts…