WATCH: Civic Education and Learning from Historic Decisions

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  • Lisa Strahley

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.”

Civic Education and Learning from Historic Decisions from Kettering Foundation on Vimeo.



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"?

Lisa Strahley work with 7th graders

Lisa Strahley's picture

Hello Margaret! 1776 - American Revolution is a time period that students study as part of their curriculum in NYS in 7th grade. This particular teacher used various primary and secondary sources for students to explore, compare and contrast` and draw conclusions. I addition, I think that the way this historical guide is designed, participants are positioned to think from within the time period. :)