2022 Democracy Schools Convening- Civic Learning and Media Literacy Across the Disciplines
Join the Illinois Democracy Schools Network for a day of learning about civic learning and media literacy ACROSS the disciplines. Join a wide range of experts to delve into how ALL educators can prepare students for college, career, and civic life. Registration includes parking, a light breakfast, and lunch. Members of the Illinois Democracy School Network can contact Sue Khalaieff for information on reduced registration fees.
- Doors open, and a light breakfast is available.
- Civic Learning Providers will have tables for participants to visit.
- Mary Ellen Young- DuPage SEL Hub
- Michelle Ramos- IL Environmental Ed Association
- Heidi Mosan and Megan Clark- Chicago History Museum
- Tiffany Middleton and Catherine Hawke- American Bar Association Division for Public Ed.
- David Olson- Retro Report
- Joel Breakstone- Stanford History Education Group
- Amanda Friedeman- Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center
- Karim Ani- Citizen Math
- Vintage Democracy Schools “swag” is available first come, first served
- Choose a book related to civic learning and media literacy across disciplines as your gift from the DSI Team. Those here early will have the first choice!
- Welcome from Dr. Darlene Ruscitti, DuPage County Regional Office of Education Regional Superintendent of Schools.
- Recognition of new 2022 Illinois Democracy Schools
- Mendota High School
- Spoon River Valley High School
- Warren Township High School
8:55 a.m. Opening Panel on Civic Learning and Media Literacy Across Disciplines
- Facilitated by Dr. Darlene Ruscitti
- Karim Ani, Citizen Math
- Dr. Joel Breakstone, Stanford History Education Group
- Dr. Joe Kahne, Civic Engagement Research Group
- Michael Spikes, Illinois Media Literacy Coalition
- Heather Van Benthuysen, Chicago Public Schools
Audience members can submit questions via note cards provided and submit them to a member of our support staff. Questions will be asked at the end of the session. Any remaining questions will be submitted to the panelist for a written response to be shared via the Democracy Schools Newsletter.
9:40 a.m. Opening Panel Concludes
9:50 a.m. Breakout Session One
10:50 a.m. Morning Break
11:00 a.m. Breakout Session Two
12:00 p.m. Lunch
- Recognition of Renewal Schools
- Carolyn Pereria Civic Leadership Award
12:50 p.m. Dismissal for Breakout Session Three
1:00 p.m. Breakout Session Three
2:00 p.m. Final Reflection and Thank You from DSN Advisory Council in Breakout Rooms
2:10 p.m. Dismissal
1A. Math as the New Civics with Karim Ani from Citizen Math: For centuries, students have asked, “When will we ever use math?” From the minimum wage to fairness in sports, mathematics is a powerful tool for analyzing relevant real-world issues. The math classroom is the perfect forum for learning how to discuss them rationally and respectfully. In this workshop, we’ll explore the thoughtful conversations that students can have — and that teachers can lead — when we train the lens of math on the world. This workshop will be a two-hour block to allow participants to experience and reflect on a Citizen Math lesson. (Oak)
1B. Scaling Civic Media and Information Literacy: An Integrative K12 Strategy with Heather Van Benthuysen, Executive Director of Student Voice and Engagement for Chicago Public Schools– Learn about Chicago Public Schools’ vision and efforts to solve the media literacy dilemma. The session will summarize the work over the last five years, the current state, lessons learned, and the next steps. We will also make space for discussion about classroom challenges, opportunities, and schoolwide approaches. (Hickory)
1C. Civic Online Reasoning Across the Disciplines with Dr. Joel Breakstone: Join Dr. Joel Breakstone from the Stanford History Education Group to learn how to embed media literacy practices in your current curriculum across the disciplines to equip ALL students to be wise consumers and producers of information to foster agency, advocacy, and informed action. (Cypress)
1D. Educational Media for Media Education with Retro Report: How can media help you learn about media? What separates media you can trust from media you cannot? Explore a wealth of resources, including videos, lessons, games, and more, to help become critical media consumers. (Redwood)
1E. Teaching Civics through History: Lessons from a Fragile Democracy with Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center: The Illinois Civics Mandate provides ample opportunities to draw from history lessons to teach students how to be informed, engaged citizens. In this workshop, participants will explore the systematic efforts undertaken in Nazi Germany to strip Jewish citizens of their civil, economic, and political rights. Examine this methodical dehumanization that exploited and deepened divisions in German society before World War II, and consider what actions ordinary Germans took to resist—and what factors led others to remain bystanders. Where do we see opportunities today to get involved to protect rights being threatened, and what positive actions can students take? (Birch)
1F. Sorting Fact from Fiction: Responding to Concerns and Misinformation about Civic Education in the Current Culture Wars with Dr. Shawn P. Healy: In this session, Dr. Healy, Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy at iCivics will address some of the common questions and concerns around the teaching of civics and social studies to help school leaders navigate facts from fiction in an era of polarization. Dr. Healy will also provide research to counter misinformation and highlight the important role of public education in developing and renewing a democratic society. (Rosewwod)
2A. Math as the New Civics with Karim Ani from Citizen Math (continued): For centuries, students have asked, “When will we ever use math?” From the minimum wage to fairness in sports, mathematics is a powerful tool for analyzing relevant real-world issues. The math classroom is the perfect forum for learning how to discuss them rationally and respectfully. In this workshop, we’ll explore the thoughtful conversations that students can have — and that teachers can lead — when we train the lens of math on the world. This workshop will be a two-hour block to allow participants to experience and reflect on a Citizen Math lesson. (Oak)
2B. The What and Why of Media Literacy: A Framework with the Illinois Media Literacy Coalition: The issues involved with exposure to dis and misinformation can be overwhelming for teachers. In addition, a new requirement for media literacy units to be implemented in classrooms may also be daunting. We present a simple 4-concept framework to help ground key aspects of media literacy education and show its use in multiple subject areas. If you already have a resource that you like, Great! We invite you to join us to bolster your knowledge of media literacy education with experts in the field. (Redwood)
2C. Civic Online Reasoning Across the Disciplines with Dr. Joel Breakstone: Join Dr. Joel Breakstone from the Stanford History Education Group to learn how to embed media literacy practices in your current curriculum across the disciplines to equip ALL students to be wise consumers and producers of information to foster agency, advocacy, and informed action. This is a repeat of the first session. (Rosewood)
2D.Using Media Literacy to Support Informed and Equitable Voting with Dr. Joe Kahne: in this interactive session, Dr. Joe Kahne, theTed and Jo Dutton Presidential Professor for Education Policy and Politics and Co-Director of the Civic Engagement Research Group CERG at the University of California, Riverside will focus on the critical role that school leaders and teachers across content areas can play in promoting informed and equitable voting as well as preparing youth to participate in democracy. Learn about trends in youth voting, inequalities in turnout, and misconceptions about youth engagement. Get connected to resources and models for teaching about elections and explore examples of how teachers across the country have created high-quality lessons that promote informed and equitable voting. (Birch)
2E. Facing Freedom in Your Classroom with the Chicago History Museum: In this interactive session, we will share the Facing Freedom in America exhibition, its companion website, and a virtual student workshop opportunity. This suite of resources uses essential questions to encourage critical thought about freedom and social justice issues, particularly regarding workers’ rights, public protest, and race and citizenship.
2F. Free Speech and Social Media with Dr. Steve D. Schwinn, Professor of Law at UIC School of Law– In this session, Dr. Schwinn will discuss free-speech issues on social media and other digital platforms, particularly as it relates to student speech and other school-related speech. (Cypress)
2G. Elections in Action with the Mikva Challenge: During Mikva’s Elections in Action workshop, participants will examine strategies to engage students in campaigns and elections by having them explore their own ideologies, learn about the candidates, explore media messages during election season, examine the role of money in elections, and get involved personally in electoral politics through a variety of actions that build confidence in every young person’s belief in their power to affect change. (Hickory)
3A. Math as the New Civics with Karim Ani from Citizen Math Q and A: This is a follow-up session for participants who attended the morning session. (Oak)
3B. The Free Press and the U.S. Supreme Court with ABA Division of Public Education: This session will walk through landmark freedom of press case studies exploring how the Supreme Court has ruled on First Amendment issues and has tried to balance competing values in our democracy; participants will use case studies throughout the session that they can then implement with their students. (Aspen)
3C. Teaching the Midterms with Retro Report: Why don’t midterm elections get any love? With 435 House and 33 Senate seats up for grabs, midterm elections determine the country’s direction and often significantly change public policy. Explore the myths and realities of midterm elections with brand-new video resources and lessons. (Rosewood)
3D. Take a Stand: Teaching Civics, Inspiring Action, Creating Change with Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center: How has the Universal Declaration of Human Rights inspired positive change around the world? Explore approaches to taking informed action through inquiry-based exploration of Illinois Holocaust Museum’s Take a Stand Center. (Birch)
3E. Regulating the Curriculum, From Book Bans to Subject-Matter Restrictions with Dr. Steven D. Schwinn, Professor of Law at UIC School of Law– In this session, Dr. Schwin will discuss the various and myriad efforts by state legislators and local school boards to regulate the school curriculum, from efforts to ban books to restrictions on certain subjects. (Cypress)
3F. Trauma-Informed Classroom Practices to Support Students in an Era of Polarization and Disinformation with Mary Ellen Young- DuPage SEL Hub– Learn how stress and trauma may impact student behavior and learning. Explore how to build a positive, supportive classroom culture through basic restorative practices, relationships, and student voice. (Redwood)
3G. Use Environmental Action Projects to Increase Student Civic Efficacy with the Illinois Environmental Educators Association– Learn about educator training programs and student initiatives available through the Environmental Education Association of Illinois to engage in environmental and civic action. EEAI Program Coordinator, Michelle Ramos, will present about Earth Force and RISE Challenge IL and how IL educators can get involved. (Hickory)
Karim Ani: Karim is the founder of Citizen Math (formerly Mathalicious) and the author of “Dear Citizen Math: How Math Class Can Inspire a More Rational and Respectful Society.”
Joel Breakstone: Joel is the director of the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG). He leads SHEG’s efforts to research, develop, and disseminate free curricula and assessments. He oversaw the creation of the Civic Online Reasoning curriculum (cor.stanford.edu), which helps students sort facts from fiction online using the strategies of professional fact-checkers. The curriculum won a Global Media and Information Literacy Award from UNESCO in 2020. He received a Ph.D. from the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Before Stanford, he taught high school history in Vermont.
Megan Clark: Megan is the School Programs Coordinator at the Chicago History Museum. She has a BA in Anthropology from Luther College and an MA in Museum and Artifact Studies from the University of Durham, England. Clark has collaborated on developing the student workshop program, teacher professional development opportunities, and curricular resources to connect students and teachers with CHM’s collections. Clark also serves as a member of exhibition teams and other cross-departmental projects like Chicago 0.0. She has co-authored articles and chapters for various publications, most recently a chapter for the book Creating Meaningful Experiences for K-12 Audiences, 2021.
Amanda Friedeman: Amanda is Assistant Director of Education at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, overseeing field trip content, professional development offerings for educators, family programs, and docent training. She holds a BA in Art History from Princeton University and an MA in Art Education from SAIC.
Meghan Goldenstein: Meghan came to Mikva in 2010 following previous work as a children’s librarian, a teacher, and a field organizer during the 2008 presidential campaign. Having been transformed by her own campaign experiences, she loves encouraging and empowering youth to become active participants in elections (much earlier than she did). As the Elections in Action program director, she works with Chicago area teachers and campaign staff to create opportunities for Mikva youth to gain hands-on experience with electoral politics.
Catherine Hawke: Cathie is the Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases editor and an Associate Director of Educational Programs with the Division for Public Education. In these roles, she conducts numerous teacher professional development programs and public-facing programs and resources on the Supreme Court, constitutional law, and the rule of law. She also manages and edits the Division’s series of legal guides published by Random House. Additionally, she helps facilitate and edit the YourLaw newsletter and other division publications. Before joining the ABA, Cathie was with the City of Chicago Department of Law. She received her B.A. with distinction in History and Political Science from the University of Michigan in 1999 and her JD, magna cum laude, from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 2006.
Shawn P. Healy: Shawn is the Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy, leads iCivics’ state and federal policy and advocacy work through the CivXNow Coalition, and oversees civic education campaigns in several key states. He plays an active role in recruiting supporters to fund policy, advocacy, and implementation efforts nationwide to ensure impact. Healy chaired the Illinois Task Force on Civic Education in 2014 and later led separate, successful legislative campaigns for a required civics course in Illinois in middle and high school, respectively. He also led the Illinois Social Science Standards Task Force. Its recommendations were adopted by the Illinois State Board of Education in 2015. Healy regularly appears as a guest speaker and panelist at academic and professional development conferences across the country, is a frequent contributor to local and national media and produces original scholarship in political participation and civic education. Healy also serves as an adjunct professor in Public Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a Serve Illinois Commissioner. Before joining iCivics, Healy worked in various capacities for fifteen years at the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, most recently serving as Democracy Program Director. He began his career as a social studies teacher at West Chicago Community High School (IL) and Sheboygan North High School (WI). A 2001 James Madison Fellow from the State of Wisconsin, he holds a MA and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago in political science and earned a bachelor’s degree with distinction in Political Science, History, and Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. His dissertation is titled “Essential School Supports for Civic Learning.”
Joseph Kahne: Joseph Kahne is the Ted and Jo Dutton Presidential Professor for Education Policy and Politics and Co-Director of the Civic Engagement Research Group at the University of California, Riverside. Professor Kahne’s research and school reform work focuses on ways that educational practices, policies, and contexts impact equitable outcomes and access to support for youth civic and political development. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and his work is available at http://www.civicsurvey.org/.
Tiffany Middleton: Tiffany is a manager of program and research in the American Bar Association Division for Public Education. She manages various programs, including Law Day and the Gavel Awards for Media & the Arts, and publications, including the emagazine Insights on Law & Society and “Lessons on the Law” in Social Education. Tiffany is a historian with degrees from Capital and Case Western Reserve Universities.
Heidi Moisan: Heidi is the school programs manager at the Chicago History Museum. She has worked at the museum for almost 28 years. Her work has focused on serving the school audience through student and teacher programs and the development of print and digital classroom resources. She also serves on exhibition teams. Her favorite thing about her job is that she gets to collaborate with amazing educators, experience history through children’s eyes, and always has the opportunity to learn new content and skills. Outside the museum, Heidi loves cooking and baking and is a proud aunt to 14 nieces and nephews.
David Olson: David serves as the Director of Education at Retro Report, a non-profit media company dedicated to connecting history to today’s news. In his capacity, David designs Retro Report’s free curriculum and professional development. Before joining Retro Report, David taught at Memorial High School in Madison, WI, for over a decade. Besides his previous role teaching AP Government, Criminal Justice, and other Social Studies courses, David spreads his passion for civic education by serving on the iCivics Educator Network, the Teacher Advisory Board for the National Constitution Center, and the Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies.
Michelle Ramos: Michelle represents the work of Earth Force and RISE Challenge. Earth Force provides a blended learning experience for educators to prepare them to conduct the Community Action and Problem Solving Process with their students. Educators first become grounded in their understanding of the Process through in-person professional development. RISE Challenge, guided by the Earth Force process, helps students research their communities to determine vulnerabilities to natural disasters and their local policies or practices. Then, they develop and implement plans to improve the vulnerabilities.
Steven D. Schwinn: Professor Schwinn earned his B.A. from Michigan State University and his J.D. from the American University Washington College of Law. He taught at the University of Maryland School of Law and George Washington University Law School. He practiced full-time in the Office of the General Counsel at the Peace Corps. Professor Schwinn is a frequent commenter on constitutional law and human rights issues. He is a co-founder and co-editor of the Constitutional Law Prof Blog and an occasional contributor to other blogs and publications. Professor Schwinn is the Editor of the American Constitution Society Supreme Court Review, an annual publication reviewing cases and issues at the Supreme Court. He regularly writes for the ABA Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases. His scholarship has appeared in a variety of law journals.
Michael A. Spikes: Michael A. Spikes is an Incoming Lecturer of Journalism and Media Studies and a Ph.D. Candidate in the Learning Sciences at Northwestern University. He studies news media literacy pedagogy. He has worked as a practitioner and teacher at Stony Brook University, DC Public Schools, and the Newseum. He has also produced media for NPR, the PBS Newshour, and the Kellogg School of Management.
Heather Van Benthuysen: Heather Van Benthuysen is the Executive Director of Student Voice and Engagement for Chicago Public Schools. She has served for 25+ years as a teacher, instructional coach, administrator, trainer, and speaker – all focused on transforming schools into inclusive, democratic spaces that position youth to lead and promote academic, social, and political achievement. Currently, Heather is leading efforts in her district to scale CPS’s approach to student voice and engagement across all schools, content areas, and decision-making structures. Learn more about this work in the recent EdWeek article. A key part of this strategy is to make Civic Media Literacy core to instruction across all content areas in grades K 12. Heather, a National Board Certified educator, holds an M.A. in Educational Leadership and an Illinois Type 75.
Mary Ellen Young: Mary Ellen is a Service Provider for the DuPage County Regional Office of Education (ROE), where she consults with and trains school personnel on topics including restorative practices, bullying prevention, trauma, and social emotional learning. She is a long-time parent educator and founded a non-profit organization where she created curricula for multiple youth events. Mary Ellen is a former school board member, Youth Mental Health Instructor, and author of a book for tween girls.
- DuPage Regional Office of Education SEL Hub
- Illinois Environmental Education Association
- Chicago History Museum
- American Bar Association Division for Public Education
- Retro Report
- Stanford History Education Group Civic Online Reasoning
- Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center
- Citizen Math
- The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at the Jonathan M. Tisch College for Civic Life at Tufts University
The theme of our Democracy Schools Network Civic Learning Across the Discipline series for the 2022-2023 school year is “Student Voice.” All educators are welcome to attend this community of practice as we collaborate on how schools can use classroom instructional practice and school organizational structures to facilitate rigorous and relevant civic learning opportunities across the disciplines. All webinars will take place from 4:00-5:00 p.m. CT
- 10/13- Is Responsiveness to Student Voice Related to Academic Outcomes?: Examine the relationships between responsiveness to student voice and academic performance with Dr. Erica Hodgin from the Civic Engagement Research Group.
- 11/10- Civic Equity for Students With Disabilities: What might civic equity look like for SWD in schools? Join Leah Bueso, JD, Ph.D., from the Civic Engagement Research Group to learn more about her recent study to address this essential civic education question and learn what moves we can take to prepare ALL students for civic life.
- 1/12- Helping Students Navigate the Public Policy Process: Join Dr. Shawn P. Healy, Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Senior Director, Policy and Advocacy at iCivics, for an informative discussion on how to help students across the discipline navigate the public policy process.
- 2/9- Student Voice 360: Learn how you can embrace a “360” approach to student voice in schools that not only impacts classroom instruction but schoolwide culture, climate, and engagement with the greater community.
- 3/9- Taking Informed Action with Data from the Illinois Democracy Schools: Join Dr. Kelly Siegel-Stechler, Senior Researcher at the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement CIRCLE at Tufts University, for a lively discussion about what we can learn from the Illinois Democracy Schools data enhance civic learning across the disciplines and create a more supportive organizational culture.