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 8: Rights and Responsibilities of Students  
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Workshop 7

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Teacher Perspectives
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Teacher Perspectives: Learning challenges

Matt Johnson: One of the challenges that you encounter every time you get kids into groups is the dynamic within these small groups. I've hopefully paired them off so that the group will work together. There are strong and weak personalities mixed together and they have the material in front of them so it's not a question of going out and having to search. Getting them to agree on a position, on an argument, a philosophy, may be difficult, but that's not necessarily a bad thing if they're talking and engaged.

I think a lot of the groups are struggling with what cases help. Their first reaction is, "There aren't any cases that support our position; they are all against us." You really have to move the kids to think about taking anything that's out there and figuring out a way to apply it to their side. Their initial task is to come up with an argument, and then find material to support it. Once you do a little Q and A with them, and actually bring up cases, they start to see that there is material out there. Even a case that, on its face, goes against their position [has] pieces of it they can use.


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