WATCH: Civic Education and Learning from Historic Decisions

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How do people learn to become democratic citizens? One area of Kettering research explores how schools can provide a space for young people to learn about their roles as citizens in a democracy and engage in the practice of deliberative politics. In this video, Lisa Strahley, Director of the Civic Engagement Center and Chair of Early Childhood & Teacher Education at SUNY Broome Community College, shares why she thinks introducing teachers and students to deliberative decision making is so important. She describes working with a middle-school history teacher who had her students imagine that they are back in time considering the options that colonists in the US faced in 1776, using the issue guide by the same name. The students not only learned about US history, but also grappled with what they might have done. As Strahley says, what students learn from deliberating together is that “they are not recipients of the world they are living in. They are actors.”


Lisa Strahley work with 7th graders

Margaret Holt's picture

Lisa, I was wondering if you might provide some guidance on what exactly you do to help "situate" seventh graders in the Colonial Period. How do you prepare them to think of themselves as people living and making decisions in this time rather than their "real time"?