Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Making Civics Real Workshop 1: Freedom of Religion  
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Workshop 1

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Teacher Perspectives
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Teacher Perspectives: Students as citizens

Kristen Borges: If we’re expecting our students to become productive members of our society and responsible citizens, it’s very important to allow room for the student voice in the classroom. And it’s very important to allow an opportunity for students to exchange ideas and be able to present their opinions. It’s the job of the instructor to make sure that they have the skills to reach informed opinions and access information that would help their own ideas grow.

Students need an opportunity in a classroom to be able to hear each other’s voices and be able to recognize and respect differences that are among students. That’s the goal for any country and any kind of responsible citizen--that citizens are able to work cooperatively and be able to exchange ideas and learn from each other. I hope that I create that type of environment for my students because if they have experience doing that in my classroom they can move on into society and practice the skills that they’ve learned with me.

Our challenge as teachers is to make what they’re learning in the classroom relevant to the real world. And even though the students that I teach are only 14 years old and are not yet able to participate in our democratic process and don’t have some of the legal rights that come with the age of 18, they begin to learn that they can influence that process.

This lesson really allows them to learn about the individual rights and civil liberties that are in our Bill of Rights and how they not only have the privilege of these rights but also a responsibility to help maintain these rights.


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