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Social Education September 2019

September 2019 Social Education Cover

Editor's Notebook

Editor’s Notebook September 2019
Michael J. Simpson



Democracy is Not a Spectator Sport: The Role of Social Studies in Safeguarding the Republic
Kenneth C. Davis

As another presidential election year approaches, it’s a critical time to engage in classroom discussions about democracy—what it is, what threatens it today, and how we can protect it.

Secondary/High School     Civics/Government

Lessons on the Law

American Identity, Citizenship, and Law: What a National Survey of Civic Literacy Reveals
Tiffany Middleton

A new survey by the American Bar Association exposes the dire state of civic literacy in the United States.

Secondary/High School     Civics/Government, Law-Related


Getting Young People to Vote: Seven Tips for the Classroom
Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Abby Kiesa

Engaging students in conversations about our system of government—what is and isn’t working—can ignite interest and involvement in civic activities.

Secondary/High School     Civics/Government

Sources and Strategies

Encouraging Student Understanding of Negotiation and the Value of Notetaking during the 1787 Constitutional Convention
Lee Ann Potter

The two featured pages of James Madison’s handwritten notes from the Constitutional Convention can spark an engaging lesson on the different plans originally presented for structuring the U.S. government.

Secondary/High School     Civics/Government, US History

Teaching with Documents

Teaching the Constitution … Virtually!
Jenny Sweeney

The National Archives has several programs to help teach about the Constitution, including an online archive for accessing and downloading countless primary documents, and also virtual classroom visits from an Archives educator.

Secondary/High School     Civics/Government, US History

Research & Practice

What Should We Teach about Human Rights? Implications of International Research
Keith C. Barton

It is important to consider the influence of students’ social context when teaching about human rights.

Secondary/High School     Civics/Government

Elementary Education

“Pinning” with Pause: Supporting Teachers’ Critical Consumption on Sites of Curriculum Sharing
Jennifer L. Gallagher, Katy M. Swalwell, M. Elizabeth Bellows

Applying specific critical literacy techniques when seeking curricular resources on Internet sharing sites can protect teachers from inadvertently implementing bad ideas disguised as “cute” lessons. PreK-Elementary    


Beyond Content or Skills: The Why, What, and How of Religious Studies Education
Justine Esta Ellis, Benjamin Pietro Marcus

Equipping students with conceptual language for discussing the complexity of religious identity better prepares them to understand the countless ways that religion intersects with public and private life. Secondary/High School     Civics/Government

Teaching the C3 Framework

Be the Change: Guiding Students to Take Informed Action
Carly Muetterties, Kathy Swan

This guided inquiry walks teachers through the steps to help students understand a societal problem, assess possible actions, and move to civic action. Secondary/High School     Civics/Government


The “Forgotten” War and Its Legacy: Teaching about Korea through Inquiry
Kathy Swan, John Lee, S.G. Grant

A new set of inquiries based on the C3 Framework provides questions, tasks, and sources to launch classroom examinations of the Korean War and its many aftershocks.

Secondary/High School     US History, World History