The Inclusive Democratic Classroom
This past Thursday, the Illinois Democracy Schools Network continued with its C.L.A.D. (Civic Learning Across Disciplines) webinar series. Laura Tavares, from Facing History and Ourselves, presented “The Inclusive Democratic Classroom” where she offered strategies, resources, and many ideas that inspired us all to think about creating a more thoughtful, intentional, inclusive and humanistic layer to our classrooms. Her presentation explored these three components of an inclusive democratic classroom:
- Building a community vision, where students are invited to examine the concept of communities and think about the communities that they belong to. Laura also explained several ideas about contracting and creating “brave spaces”.
- Nurturing student identity and agency, which provided details for students to create “Civic Self-Portraits” and think about their “part of the story”.
- Fostering civil discourse on complex issues. This part of the presentation offered several sources of support for teachers, who are committed to having these discussions in their classrooms:
If you missed the webinar, you can access a recording on the Illinois Democracy Schools Network Webinar archive.
Throughout the webinar, a variety of resources were shared by the presenter, DSN Advisory Council members, and participants to support civic learning across disciplines:
- An article from Learning for Justice (formerly, Teaching Tolerance) about addressing political polarization in the classroom
- Facing History and Ourselves: Our Approach to Civic Education
- Mentimeter is a tool to engage students and enable every voice in a classroom to be heard
- A blog from the Illinois Civics Hub that shared tools from folks like Facing History to engage student voice in reflection to create and recalibrate classroom practices and build community.
- Design Challenges in the EAD Roadmap that give voice to the opportunities and tensions in this work.
- A blog from the Illinois Civics Hub with resources to help students reflect on emotionally charged current events that include resources from Facing History.
- More professional development opportunities from the Facing History and Ourselves On Demand Learning Center
The Illinois Civics Hub and the Illinois Democracy Schools Network are hosting free after-school PD this year from many of the organizations highlighted above, including the News Literacy Project, the Stanford History Education Group, and the Civic Education Research Group. 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.
The Illinois Civics Hub has a monthly newsletter that shares our free PD that is open to all. You can subscribe here!