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Social Education October 2016

Social Education Cover October 2016


Editor's Notebook
Michael Simpson



No Time to Take a Pass: Why Schools Should Teach Young People about the 2016 Elections
Diana Hess

If we want young people to build knowledge about democracy, then we must help students develop a rich understanding of elections.

Secondary/High School     Civics/Government


The Keys to the White House
Allan J. Lichtman

Early in October 2016, the Keys election forecasting system was narrowly predicting the victory of a generic Republican candidate. Will this anything-but-generic presidential race vitiate the model? Secondary/High School     Civics/Government


Predicting the Outcome of an Election
Social Education Staff

This feature introduces three widely followed forecasting systems: prediction markets; projections based on economic indicators; and forecasts based on opinion polls. Secondary/High School     Civics/Government

Sources and Strategies

Helping Students Practice Listening Skills to Recognize Change and Continuity in Election Campaign Issues
Lee Ann Potter

A radio broadcast of Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater during the 1964 election campaign can spark an engaging classroom discussion on candidates, campaign issues, and the role of media in elections. Secondary/High School    


Campaign 2016: Turning Students into Voters Social Education Staff
Social Education Staff

This list of noteworthy websites can be used to teach students about election issues and how to fact check campaign rhetoric, as well as the Electoral College and voting procedures.

Secondary/High School     Civics/Government


The Contest for Control of the Senate: Key Races to Watch
Social Education Staff

Tracking the Senate race in the classroom can spark a lesson on the Senate's role in shaping legislation, treaties, and judicial nominations, and on why a party's control matters.     Civics/Government


Setting the Stage for Civil Discourse
Karen Barss

The current divisive presidential election highlights the importance of teaching students the skills of constructive public discourse.



Confronting Confirmation Bias: Giving Truth a Fighting Chance in the Information Age
Alan C. Miller

At a time when algorithms shape and filter our newsfeeds, teaching students news literacy—how to differentiate credible information from misinformation—has taken on unprecedented importance. Secondary/High School    

Developing Students’ Skills for Civic Discourse

Invoking History in Today's Politics
Jocelyn Stanton and Laura Tavares

Studying the Weimar Republic that gave way to the fascist Third Reich can help students make connections between the past and present and understand how history can inform our choices today. Secondary/High School     World History

Developing Students’ Skills for Civic Discourse

Understanding the Universe of Obligation: An Approach to Civic Responsibility
Dan Sigward

In the featured lesson, students explore the ways that individuals, groups, communities, and nations define who belongs and who does not. Secondary/High School    

Lessons on the Law

The U.S. Supreme Court: A Review of the Last Term, and a Look Ahead
Catherine E. Hawke

The Supreme Court's most recent term featured hot-button issues like abortion and affirmative action. In the new term, the Court will address voting rights, fair housing, and the First Amendment's religion clauses. Secondary/High School     Law-Related


Do Not Throw Away Your Shot—Studying History with the Musical Hamilton
Andrea S. Libresco

The musical Hamilton offers rich opportunities for teaching about the American Revolution and the Constitution, but it can also serve as a springboard for teaching inquiry and historiography. Secondary/High School     US History


Whose Place is This Space? Exploring Place Perceptions and the Cultural Politics of Place through a Field-Based Lesson
Tricia Seow and Julian Chang

Using a school location as a starting point, this lesson addresses the question Whose place is this space? and explores how culture and experience can influence people's perceptions. Secondary/High School     Geography


A Geographic Perspective for Analyzing Primary Sources
Steve Jennings and Gale Olp Ekiss

A set of questions developed as an analytical tool can energize and deepen student investigations of historical maps.s     Geography

Surfing the Net

Teaching Comparative Religions in a Time of Crisis
C. Frederick Risinger

The recommended websites offer guidelines, resources, and lesson plans on teaching about the origins, history, and core beliefs of religions.