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Making Civics Real Workshop 8: Rights and Responsibilities of Students  
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Workshop 7

Workshop Session
Lesson Plan
Teacher Perspectives
Student Perspectives
Essential Readings
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Teacher Perspectives: His response to the lesson

Matt Johnson: The students' presentations were what [I] expected. The student who was briefing the case was knowledgeable of the important issues and facts, the rationale, and the Court's decision. The students in the audience asked thoughtful, provoking questions. When they broke into groups, I saw some real attempts to frame arguments and go through the cases and cite precedents. I could observe kids asking questions of one another, searching through their materials looking for the appropriate cases to cite. So I thought it went very well.

[During] the Q and A from the kids to the presenters there were a couple [of] very insightful questions. When I asked questions of the class, I was happy to see that the kids knew the answers to some of these key concepts that the Court has put forth. That tells me that they understand what their rights are, but they also understand the logic behind some of the limitations to their rights.

[During Activity 3] I would have liked a little more discussion of some of the cases that the kids were asked to review, but I think it's pretty easy for them to get stuck on the merits and not worry so much about precedent. I thought the interaction between the Supreme Court Justices and the two lawyer teams was very energetic and got at some good issues. It surprised me a little bit that these guys would be in favor of supporting vouchers. The First Amendment is pretty sacred to these guys, and not favoring religious schools over public schools. I think they have their allegiance with public schools. By the same token, this is the population that would benefit in a lot of ways from a voucher system. They are giving kids, giving parents a choice. When they actually deliberated, they decided the opposite way. Each offered their opinion and then they voted and they changed.


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