Upstanders and Bystanders: Investigating Modern Social Responsibility Using History

In 2015, Cherie Arnette (School District of Escambia County), Maureen Carter (School District of Palm Beach County), and Peggy Renihan (Florida Joint Center for Citizenship at the Lou Frey Institute) collaborated to create materials to support discussions around bystanders and upstanders.

We here at the FJCC, and the wonderful people who developed these resources, believe that these instructional resources are useful for a variety of courses at varying grade levels. We urge you to review the materials and make your own decisions on age and course appropriateness.

During the lesson, an incredibly rich and varied selection of primary source materials from the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement are used to examine social responsibility. Participants explore the reality that at different times we could all be upstanders, bystanders, collaborators, victims, and perpetrators depending on the situation.

You can access “Upstanders and Bystanders: Investigating Modern Social Responsibility Using History” using this link – http://bit.ly/UpstandersBystanders


A Short Lesson on Hate

Talking About hate

Click on the link here, Talking about Hate, to access the lesson.

Friends, today’s post is brought to you by our program coordinator and all-around excellent teacher, Ms. Peggy Renihan.

During back to school, many teachers facilitate activities designed to create a safe learning environment. Recent current events may have students discussing sensitive issues. The activity provided in this post may, we hope, help facilitate conversations.

It is based on the an article from the Washington Post about teaching the issues related to the sometimes acrimonious public debates we face today . 
(A special Thank You to our own Val McVey for finding and sharing interesting and useful resources.)

There are some thought-provoking resources in the article that may be helpful. We reviewed most of the links and suggest that you view the videos and read the articles before sharing with students to ensure age-appropriateness.

Knowing that most people appreciate a readymade activity, we (Editor’s Note: we meaning Peggy!) modified the resources and information from the article to be ready for classroom use.Click on the link here, Talking about Hate, to access the lesson.


A New Approach for FJCC

challenge

As folks are likely aware at this point, funding for the Lou Frey Institute was vetoed by Governor Scott. The work of the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship falls under the umbrella of LFI, so obviously the loss of funding is, for us, significant. While we continue to work on grants and other opportunities to raise funds (and still seeking some sort of university or legislative solution), this sudden turn of events means some changes in our work.

To be clear, the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship at the Lou Frey Institute will continue to support teachers, schools, and districts to the best of our ability. Our curricular resources will not go away; indeed, we continue to refine and improve and expand what we have. The Florida Citizen website will be getting new materials later this year around action civics, high school government, and, perhaps, Florida’s new legislatively mandated Founders Month. Development and improvement on Civics360 continues; we have just added four new videos around benchmark 4.3 for example. We are working on an update to the Florida’s Civic Health website as well.

As needed and as possible, we will strive to meet face to face PD requests; however, we may not longer be able to respond in the affirmative to all requests, thanks to a vastly reduced travel budget. HOWEVER, we do have some exciting news that has arisen out of that unfortunate circumstance. The Florida Joint Center for Citizenship at the Lou Frey Institute is beginning the transition towards becoming an online professional development provider!

Currently, we are collaborating internally on developing a Canvas-based set of interactive modules (we hesitate to call it a course) targeting new teachers and what they need to know for teaching civics. We will be piloting this effort with a small number of districts for now; lessons learned from this will guide the next iteration and allow us to open it up to more folks. We also plan on offering additional data, content, and pedagogy oriented modules as we move forward. We have also just completed a new online narrated support PowerPoint around interpreting data that we will be posting for you within the next week!

We are incredibly excited by this new direction. Sometimes, what seems like disaster can simply be turned into a challenge. And that is true in this case. We have had to ask the question about how we can do more with even less, and we have high hopes and expectations that offering support online, with the same excellent staff you are used to, is a way to overcome that challenge. This Canvas-based approach will always involve the opportunity for questions, collaboration, and communication with the FJCC team.

Again, we will continue to support you to the best of our ability. The Florida Joint Center for Citizenship at the Lou Frey Institute is not going anywhere in the short term. We are simply going to follow a new path in supporting the work that wonderful teachers do in civic education.

We are always open to questions or suggestions, so please feel free to contact us at any time! 


Social Studies/School-Related Legislation to be aware of in Florida

Good morning friends. It is important, I think, for us to all be aware of legislation that can impact our beloved field and our profession. Of course we all know what is happening at the national level, but remember that ultimately, education is a state-level issue. And so, dear friends, what legislation is on the agenda in the current Florida Legislative Session that might be relevant for us? I have summarized significant or relevant pieces below, but remember that you can track all bills in our state legislature!

capitol

House Bill 67: Public School Recess
Requires that K-5 students get minimum number of minutes of free-play recess each week and minimum number of consecutive minutes each day.
Likely to pass
As the parent of an active third grader, I think this is a great and necessary idea. We know that recess has positive effects on student learning, and that it has seen some level of decline as schools have focused more on assessment. One drawback of this, however, is that this may impact the already limited time elementary schools devote to the social studies. It is, indeed, a difficult balance to strike. 

House Bill 131: Mandatory Retention
Removes requirement for mandatory retention of 3rd graders based on ELA Assessment
Currently in committee
This is unlikely to have a huge impact on social studies, but it could have a significant impact on elementary schools and promotion/retention policies and approaches. 

House Bill 303: Religious expression in public school
Prohibits discrimination against students, parents, or school personnel on basis of religious viewpoints or expression; requires districts to adopt limited public policy forum and deliver disclaimer at school events; requires DOE to develop and publish model policy and boards to adopt and implement it
Passed; moving on to governor

Senate Bill 392: High School Graduation Requirements
Adds .5 credit to social studies requirement in the form of a stand alone personal financial literacy course and money management. Reduces elective credits to 7.5.
Moving forward
The state of Florida has tried to implement some sort of personal financial literacy component for the past few years. This time, the bill seems more likely to pass. Obviously it increases social studies requirements for high school graduation, and will necessitate a re- balancing of teacher preps. Note that this is a stand alone course and NOT integrated into the traditional economics course. It also will have an impact on the arts and other electives, as students lose a half-credit there. 

House Bill 549: Student Assessment
Requires that DOE website publish any assessment administered or adopted during previous year. Expectation is every three years (see College Board as example)
Working through committees
This bill, if it passes, is likely to have a some level of financial impact on the state; currently, the DOE re-uses test items. If they are required to post older tests, they will then have to order the creation of even more items for a bank. 

Senate Bill 964: Education Accountability
Eliminates End of Course Assessments (including Civics and US History)
Passed Senate, on to House; likely outcome unknown
The House and Senate differ, generally, on the benefit of accountability measures. It should be noted that the passage of the Sandra Day O’Connor Civic Education Act and the existence of the civics EOCA provides social studies education with a much greater level of prominence and importance than it had prior to the act and the assessment. What happens to that if the assessment disappears? 

House Bill 989: Instructional Materials for K-12 Public Education
Revises terminology, standards, and review and adoption processes relating to K-12 instructional materials; PROVIDES FOR OBJECTION BY CERTAIN PERSONS TO ADOPTION OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS; provides right to appeal school district decisions; REQUIRES DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARDS TO PROVIDE CERTAIN PERSONS FULL ACCESS TO MATERIALS IN SCHOOL LIBRARIES
On track in House and Senate
We are currently in an adoption cycle, and texts and resources for social studies are likely to have been selected before the requirements of this bill are implemented (should it pass). However, our science friends are likely to be impacted by this, and note that it allows anyone, not just parents, to object to curricular resources being used in schools. We have seen, in our state, vigorous debate over instruction in certain controversial issues in social studies; this will probably increase the amount of those discussions. 

House Bill 1023: Required K-12 Instruction
Revises requirements for instruction relating to Africa to include specific content relating to enslavement of African peoples; revises requirements for curriculum of required character education programs to include history of Africa and African-Americans
Still in early stages
Obviously this would fall under the social studies bailiwick. 

Senate Bill 1710: Education
Designates September as Founder’s Month; revises duties of ‘Just Read, Florida’ office to include developing resources for elementary schools; requires postsecondary students to demonstrate civic literacy.
Moving forward
The expectations of this bill reflect what we already teach in our US history, civics, and government courses. I am, honestly, not quite clear on the part that requires a demonstration of civic literacy by ‘postsecondary students’. This could be some sort of graduation test around civics, or it could be a civic assessment targeting college students. We will have to wait and see. 

Remember, always, to make your voice heard. As social studies teachers and as civic education professionals, let’s be models for our students, no matter where you stand on these or other bills.


The National O’Connor Scholars Program

Good morning, friends of civics. We have come across an interesting opportunity and thought it might be of interest for your students!

iCivics and the Aspen Institute are cosponsoring the National O’Connor Scholars Program. 11th or 12th grade students interested in the work of the Supreme Court, the life of Justice O’Connor, and/or constitutional law and history; and a record of civic participation and leadership in school, community, and/or faith- based organizations are encouraged to apply.

Applications will be accepted from March 13 to April 3, or until 150 applications have come in—whichever is sooner.  Scholars will be announced on or before April 21.

Apply herehttps://goo.gl/forms/alXN7vHHzfHfvY7w1

Learn more about the O’Connor Scholar Program.


Action Civics Survey

Heli Mishael, a student at Harvard’s Kennedy School, is doing some investigatory research around action civics and what teachers need to effectively implement an action civics approach in their classroom. This is definitely a question we here at FJCC would be interested in getting an answer to, so if you have some time, please take this survey!

Questions on this survey may be directed to Heli Mishael  Thanks for taking the survey and hopefully contributing to the body of knowledge about what might be needed!


“Teaching the Presidency in the Digital Age” Webinar!!!

I am happy to pass this along, as the Teaching for Democracy Alliance is simply fantastic.

tfda
WEBINAR: Teaching the Presidency in the Digital Age
Wednesday, January 11th
4pm ET/1pm PT

The Teaching for Democracy Alliance is pleased to announce its first webinar of 2017 on the timely and important topic of “Teaching the Presidency in the Digital Age.” The webinar will feature Professor Joseph Kahne of UC-Riverside, whose most recent work examines the connection between media literacy education and students’ ability to spot fake news, as well as commentary by media literacy experts Dr. Katherine Fry of Brooklyn College and Dr. Paul Mihailidis from Emerson College. The webinar will also highlight free and innovative instructional resources to support teachers as they help their students make sense of the executive branch in today’s digital climate. Register HERE.

This looks to be another excellent webinar from them. I encourage you to check it out.


Citrus Ridge Civics Academy Grand Opening Celebration

I apologize for the delay in posting. Here at the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship, we have been swamped with work, and finding the time to write a few words has been tough, but I hope to get back on track! Let’s start with some excellent news.

As you are likely aware, Polk County has opened a new public K-8 school with a civics focus, called Citrus Ridge: A Civics Academy. The FJCC is excited to be playing a small part in the school, offering support to teachers, students, and administration. To some degree, the school was sponsored by Congressman Dennis Ross (R-FL 15th). In early December, the school had its official ‘Grand Opening’, and we were happy to be there.

cr-go

Citrus Ridge Grand Opening Program

My own favorite part of the program involved student leaders across the grade levels reading their essays on good citizenship, such as the young elementary student below, who will, I think, go on to big things one day!

Congressman Ross himself arrived just in time to speak to the audience of students, staff, parents, and community members. He spoke highly of the importance of civic education and of civility, and how important it is that we understand each other as citizens. He also officially presented to the school principal, Kathy Conely, a wonderful gift. It features the flag flown over the U.S. Capitol in honor of Citrus Ridge, as well as Congressional documents and records announcing the creation of the school and its goals.

We also got a wonderful tour of the new school, led by students and the school administration, prior to a ribbon-cutting.

We are looking forward to continuing to work with Citrus Ridge and the great people there. You can see some much better pictures of the event at the Ledger! 


Upcoming SOURCES Conference at UCF!

SOURCES Annual Conference
University of Central Florida
Orlando, Florida
Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Teaching with Primary Sources Program at the University of Central Florida (TPS-UCF) will be hosting the third annual SOURCES Annual Conference at the University of Central Florida on Saturday, January 14, 2017. The SOURCES Annual Conference is a free opportunity available to any educators interested in the utilization and integration of primary sources into K-12 teaching. Presenters will focus on providing strategies for using primary sources to help K-12 students engage in learning, develop critical thinking skills, and build content knowledge, specifically in one or more of the following ways:
Justifying conclusions about whether a source is primary or secondary depending upon the time or topic under study;
Describing examples of the benefits of teaching with primary sources;
Analyzing a primary source using Library of Congress tools;
Accssing teaching tools and primary sources from www.loc.gov/teachers;
Identifying key considerations for selecting primary sources for instructional use (for example, student needs and interests, teaching goals, etc.);
Accessing primary sources and teaching resources from www.loc.gov for instructional use;
Analyzing primary sources in different formats;
Analyzing a set of related primary sources in order to identify multiple perspectives;
Demonstrating how primary sources can support at least one teaching strategy (for example, literacy, inquiry-based learning, historical thinking, etc.); and
Presenting a primary source-based activity that helps students engage in learning, develop critical thinking skills and construct knowledge.

Dr. Michael Berson and Dr. Ilene Berson, of the University of South Florida, and Bert Snow, of Muzzy Lane Software, will provide the Keynote Presentation, Historical Inquiry with Primary Sources: The Kid Citizen App for Young Learners. In this session, they will discuss about and present ways in which educators can use an application that they collaboratively developed in order to foster young children’s inquiry with Library of Congress primary sources focusing on Congress and civic participation. Templates to add content will be demonstrated. Additional session titles include the following:

· Primary Source Analysis in Elementary Grades: A Tool for Building Critical Literacy Skills
· Integrating Current Events and Geography into Social Studies Curriculum
· Examining the Cold War through Primary Sources
· Teaching with Primary Sources through A Geography Lens
· Making Texts Accessible: Situated Word Learning and Scaffolded Inquiry
· WGBH/PBS Learning Media: US History Interactive Modules for Grades 9-12
· Venture Smith’s Real Voyage
· Building Civic Competencies with Primary Sources
· Teacher-Leaders & Professional Development
· Library of Congress Resources – BYOD
· Emerging Technologies for Promoting Inquiry: A Top 10 List
· The Kids Are Alright: Children from the Past Tell Their Stories
· Archiving It! – K-12 Web Archiving Program
· Using Primary Sources to Engage All Learners in U.S. History
· Finding a Voice in History Using Found Poetry to Construct Meaning
· Social Studies and Social Media: Engaging Students in their Medium
· The Interactive Constitution: Non-partisan Civics Education for 21st Century Classrooms
· Island in Transition: How Cuba’s Past will Influence its Future
· Exploring the History of Local Schools
· Hollywood or History? Using Primary and Secondary Source to Analyze Film
· Examining the Civil Rights Movement from a Historian’s Eye
· Emerging Technologies for Promoting Inquiry: A Top 10 List
· Kindergarten Historians and the Power of Primary Sources
· Student-created History Labs for the Secondary Classroom
· Perspectives & Voices from Reconstruction
· Myth-Making in the News: Tracing Sojourner Truth’s Legacy
· Leveraging Library of Congress Materials to Teach Second Order Historical Concepts

Registration is free and is open for the SOURCES Annual Conference. Register now: http://www.sourcesconference.com/registration.


Future of Florida Summit for College Students!

This is an incredible opportunity to learn about a little known feature of Florida governance, and the Graham Center always offers excellent programs.
The 2017 Future of Florida Summit, held from Feb. 10 to Feb. 12 on the University of Florida campus and sponsored by the Bob Graham Center for Public Service, will focus on the upcoming 2017-2018 Florida Constitution Revision Commission. Students from any Florida college or university — public or private — are invited to apply to attend.

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission has more influence than most Floridians realize, and many don’t even know it exists. Commissioned every 20 years, this group of unelected appointees will have the power to put constitutional changes directly on the November 2018 ballot. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the revision process and the history of Florida’s constitution from the state’s leading scholars on the topic and members of past Constitution Revision Commissions.

This type of revision process is unique to Florida, providing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to directly influence the contents of Florida’s constitution. Invited students will draft constitutional amendments, which will then be submitted to the 2017-2018 Constitution Revision Commission.

Food and lodging are provided by the Bob Graham Center for Public Service. However, invited students are expected to arrange travel to and from Gainesville and arrive at Pugh Hall — centrally located on the University of Florida campus — by 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10.

The Summit will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10, and end at noon on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. Accepted students will receive notification by Monday, Jan. 16, and will be required to confirm that they are attending by Friday, Jan. 20.

You can apply for the summit here.