What are the responsibilities and opportunities of citizenship and civic agency in America’s Constitutional democracy?

This week, the Illinois Civic Hub (ICH) has been exploring Theme One of the Educating for American Democracy (EAD) Roadmap– Civic Participation. We began with a Tuesday webinar exploring how students can use inquiry to take informed action through service learning to practice responsible citizenship in their communities. This was followed by a webinar featuring Amanda Friedeman, Assistant Director of Education at Illinois Holocaust Museum who used lessons from the Weimar Republic to show how classrooms can teach civics through history and address the EAD question, “What are the responsibilities and opportunities of citizenship and civic agency in America’s Constitutional democracy?” If you missed either of this week’s webinars,  recordings can be accessed on the ICH Webinar Archive.

In 1990, Illinois became the first state in the country to mandate each public elementary school and high school to include in its curriculum a study of Holocaust history. In 2005, Public Act 094-0478 was expanded to include other cases of genocide. Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center has been an important partner for schools both in and outside of the Land of Lincoln to teach students how to be upstanders to injustice in their communities, taking the lessons of history to inform responsible action in their communities, or as the Museum states on the front page of their website,” Take History to Heart. Take a Stand for Humanity.”

The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center has a robust toolkit of online resources to support students and teachers. Resources from the Museum’s Take a Stand Center are featured in the ICH Service Learning Toolkit.

Educators looking for more inspiration on how to address the EAD Theme of “Civic Participation” can access a diverse set of resources on the EAD website using the Educator Resources tab. The growing set of tools on this site can be sorted by theme, grade level, resource type, and more. 

The Illinois Civics Professional Calendar for fall features free after-school PD from the Civic Engagement Research Group, News Literacy Project, the Stanford History Education Group, and Dr. Steven D. Schwinn from the UIC School of Law. A description for each webinar and information to register for professional development credits through the DuPage Regional Office of Education is available on the Illinois Civics Hub Professional Development Calendar.