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 3: Public Policy & the Federal Budget  
Home    |    Workshops 1-8    |    Tools for Teaching    |    Support Materials    |    Site Map

Workshop 3

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

Leslie Martin assesses student learning from this lesson in several ways. First, she has a debriefing session at the end of the lesson, in which she assesses student learning by listening to them (“I think that students can [usually] tell you the best of where they have been and where they have come from and where they are going. When a student says to me, ‘I thought that it would be this way, but it worked like this’ and they have a revelation or an ‘aha’ about the process and what they have learned, I have accomplished my goals.”

During this discussion, she asks students to reflect not just on the budget process, but on the human interactions within that process. This stems from her belief that behavioral skills can be learned. The student that is the loudest is not always the most correct. The student who is quiet or the person who is more reticent often has very valuable things to add to the conversation. She wants students to learn the process of not dominating the conversation, of asking for input, of including other people in the process. She also wants them to analyze their own behavior and how they react to other people. Sometimes an idea may be really good but if someone is abrasive and obnoxious it doesn’t get heard. Leslie Martin also provides feedback to the class about her observations but she does not grade students on group work.

The second part of the assessment takes place the week after the lesson has been completed, when students are assigned to write a two-page paper about the process--what they expected, what was different from what they expected, what they learned, how it affected their perception of that budget process, and ultimately how democracy works for them, not only in Washington, D.C., but also at home in North Carolina.

Students are also assessed through the state-mandated, end-of-course test. In addition, Leslie Martin takes advantage of more informal assessment opportunities, such as bringing a relevant newspaper article to class and having the students discuss it.


© Annenberg Foundation 2017. All rights reserved. Legal Policy