Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Mailing List signup
Making Civics Real Workshop 7: Controversial Public Policy Issues  
Home    |    Workshops 1-8    |    Tools for Teaching    |    Support Materials    |    Site Map

Workshop 7

Workshop Session
Lesson Plan
Teacher Perspectives
Student Perspectives
Essential Readings
Other Lessons
Teacher Perspectives: Assessing individuals

JoEllen Ambrose: I would like students to reflect on their own learning throughout the process--the planning, the articles that they looked at, the debate, the speaking. Were they supporting their arguments with good evidence? Were they getting deeper into the issue? They’re going to look at their listening skills. Were they asking clarifying questions? Did they help the group come to consensus? Then, finally, how do they feel about the issue? Has it become a more complex issue for them, and do they think the consensus is a good position?

They’re going to rank themselves in a format of 4, 3, 2, 1 and then justify it, [i.e.,] what evidence do you have to support that particular ranking? I’m also going to ask very general questions, [e.g.,] “What did you learn about the topic? What did you learn about the process?” I always look forward to reading those pieces that they write privately because that’s a time when they really have a conversation with me. Sometimes, opinions that are hard to share in front of the whole class are shared. It lets me know, “Did I get through? Did I accomplish my objectives? Have I touched them in a way that I hope will be lasting?”

I’m going to ask them to talk about the topic of racial profiling on the unit test. I would expect that question to have some arguments on both sides of the issue and some support for those arguments. I would also ask them to say how this issue reflects the tension between order and rights, and where [they] think it should fall and in what circumstance. It will be an essay [on which] I would like to see good writing and support and a conclusion.


© Annenberg Foundation 2017. All rights reserved. Legal Policy