Teachers participate in a group activity.
September 29, 2016
In August 2016, Street Law held the first Teaching for Civic Engagement Seminar—a professional development opportunity featuring interactive teaching strategies designed to engage students in civics and government courses.
A robust group of 28 teachers attended. They will reach 3,152 students this academic year.
Together, we explored current topics in civics and government while practicing strategies for building students’ civic skills. A variety of legal experts joined us to teach controversial public issues like federalism, medical marijuana, and the First Amendment. We explored strategies for engaging students in these topics—things like case studies, mock negotiations, and deliberations.
Participating teachers reported that the program was useful, engaging, and worthwhile:
- "Thanks for a very informative, interactive and rewarding two days."
- "It was fantastic. I learned so much about different teaching resources and methods to get the students involved and excited."
- "Probably one of the most valuable conferences I've been able to attend. Speakers were so interesting to hear."
- "So worth it!! I was engaged and learned many new skills and strategies to use with students. Great to meet and collaborate with new teachers."
- "Food, room, content, presenters were all AMAZING!"
Over the course of the two-day Seminar, teachers participated in the following activities:
- Deliberated with one another about whether or not states should have photo ID requirements for in-person voting
- Worked in groups to frame the positions for parties negotiating over Iran’s access to nuclear weapons
- Argued a Supreme Court case about whether a state may prohibit minors from buying violent video games
- Identified ways to implement these activities—and more—in their classes.
Street Law provided a vast array of classroom-ready resources to take home. McGraw-Hill Education generously sponsored lunch for the teachers on both days and provided all participants with a copy of United States Government: Our Democracy. Space and AV were provided by King & Spalding LLP. Financial support was provided by individual donors to Street Law, Inc.
Street Law hopes to repeat this seminar in summer 2017!
If you are a teacher searching for classroom-ready materials to teach for civic engagement, you can check out Street Law's Resource Library. There, you can find Supreme Court case studies, moot court materials, deliberation topics, lesson plans, and more.
More specifically, here are three resources you can explore that were used in this summer's Teaching for Civic Engagement Seminar:
(Reproduced with permission)
Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers
High School Law Course
SCOTUS in the Classroom
Teaching for Civic Engagement
Topic: Civic & Law-Related Education
Topic: U.S. Supreme Court