We like that civics now will be a subject that Florida middle school students must know and understand at some level before moving on in their education. This is information that's critical to being a productive citizen.
Jacob Baker's insight:
The Tampa Tribune published a really interesting article that poses the argument that students need to spend more time thinking critically in their civics class. It states that too many students are simply acting as a parrot to their parents' viewpoints about society and the government, and they should be expressing their own opinions. It does, however, state that students should be formulating their own viewpoints through research and should not simply believe in something without knowing why. Students should know that it is acceptable to ask questions and have opposing arguments to other people. This not only helps students think critically, but also helps them become informed citizens.
"Civic engagement is the action that is taken to impact the community; civic thinking is what prepares students to participate in civic action"...
Jacob Baker's insight:
This article was produced by Wagner College and talks about ways to encourage civic engagement within the classroom. It provides many examples of how educators can give assignments to students that relate to how they can be active in the community. It includes an example in which students analyze a social problem by providing both sides of an argument and coming up with a solution to the problem. The assignment concludes with students evaluating the solution and how it impacts the community. It actually can allow students to play politician by examining how their actions impact the world.
By Derek Bok CAMBRIDGE – Ever since economists revealed how much universities contribute to economic growth, politicians have paid close attention to hig
Jacob Baker's insight:
This article introduces how politicians are calling for a need for higher education. It is stated that Barack Obama is stressing the need for young students to pursue a college degree. The article not only talks about the fact that more educated people creates a better economy, but it also states that people who are more educated are more likely to become involved with their civic duties. Even though the article relates more to economics than civics, it does share that share that higher education creates more civically responsible adults.
This Annenburg Learning website allows people to become more informed about the government and think critically in the process. It not only provides an overview of the government, it also gives the site visitor a video and readings to help him or her become more informed about society. I found the critical thinking activity very interesting. it provides a quiz for people to take, which include simple government questions and criticala thinking questions such as why the U.S. fought the American Revolution and why the Pilgrims came to America. At the end of the quiz, it gives some interesting questions that can be used as discussion prompts.
The article "Beyond Civility" talks about how civilians can become more involved in the cities they live in. It also shows how certain cities are also providing ways that its citizens are becoming more involved. For example, Scottsdale, Arizona developed the Neighborhood College which keeps all residents engaged in government activities and local issues. This article also talks about utilizing technology, especially social media during this process. This can really help students relate their civics class to civics in the real world.
Instead of simply reviewing the facts in civics class, students will be able to think like our representatives in the government. I especially like the Argument Wars section. It allows the student to act as a lawyer and use evidence to to solve each case. It also provides simulations for different government regulations. These simulations include programs such as Counties Work and Immigration Nation, where students can take place of a government worker in order to make decisions that the government makes every day.
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