Professional Development

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Educator PD Events

Professional Development Series - Session 1: Motivating Student Agency and Exploring America's Shared Story | View On-demand Recording

This three workshop series, led by Natacha Scott, Director of Educator Engagement at iCivics, will introduce educators to the Educating for American Democracy (EAD) Roadmap by diving deeper into the design challenges, themes, and pedagogy principles. Each session will provide opportunities for participants to connect with peers, engage with the content of the Roadmap, and reflect on connections to their current instruction.

Our first EAD PD workshop discussed the first two design challenges focused on motivating student agency and exploring America’s shared story. This Session engaged participants in supporting their students to understand their roles as engaged citizens who also sustain civil disagreement and civic friendship. Additionally, participants began exploring how we can integrate the perspectives of Americans from diverse backgrounds into our narration of U.S. history.

View on-demand recording

Professional Development Series - Session 2: Teaching About Compromise and Honest Patriotism | View On-demand Recording

This three workshop series, led by Natacha Scott, Director of Educator Engagement at iCivics, will introduce educators to the Educating for American Democracy (EAD) Roadmap by diving deeper into the design challenges, themes, and pedagogy principles. Each session will provide opportunities for participants to connect with peers, engage with the content of the Roadmap, and reflect on connections to their current instruction.

Our second EAD PD workshop discussed the design challenges focused on teaching about compromise and honest patriotism. This session engaged participants in understanding the tension of teaching about the value and the danger of compromise for a free, diverse, and self-governing people. Additionally, participants began to explore how we tell the story of our U.S. constitutional democracy that is honest about the failures and celebrates the successes.

View on-demand recording

Professional Development Series - Session 3: Connecting Chronological and Thematic Approaches to History and Civics Instruction | View On-demand Recording

This three workshop series, led by Natacha Scott, Director of Educator Engagement at iCivics, introduced educators to the Educating for American Democracy (EAD) Roadmap by diving deeper into the design challenges, themes, and pedagogy principles. Each session provided opportunities for participants to connect with peers, engage with the content of the Roadmap, and reflect on connections to their current instruction.

The third EAD PD workshop in our design challenge series focused on exploring how to connect chronological and thematic approaches to history and civics instruction. This session supported participants in making connections between their current approaches in the classroom and strategies that can engage students with moving between concrete and conceptual learning.

View on-demand recording

June 15, 2021 @ 10:30-11:30 AM EST | Using Essential and Supporting Questions for Curriculum Design

At the heart of inquiry, is the use of essential and supporting questions in curriculum design. Prepare for your summer curriculum project with strategies and resources to enhance your practice in facilitating student-centered inquiry across the social sciences. Walk away with ideas and FREE resources aligned to the Pedagogy Companion of the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap.

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June 16, 2021 @ 10:30-11:45 AM EST | How Can the Constitution be Changed Formally and Informally?

Join the Illinois Civics Hub and the American Bar Association Division of Public Education as we explore the role of the courts and judicial review to make a more perfect union. Get connected with free resources and strategies to enhance your current practice aligned with the Illinois Civics course requirements for grades 6-8 and 9-12 and the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap, Theme 5 – Institutional & Social Transformation.

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June 22, 2021 @ 10:30-11:30 AM EST | Let’s Build an Inquiry!

Interact with resources to build your own classroom inquiry lessons. Walk away with ideas and tools aligned to both the Illinois Social Science standards and the Educating for American Democracy Pegagogy Companion and Roadmap.

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June 23, 2021 @ 10:30-11:45 AM EST | What is Constitutional Democracy?

Join the Illinois Civics Hub and our Civic Learning Partners at iCivics for a webinar that shares both strategies and resources to help classrooms explore, What is Constitutional Democracy? Walk away with ideas aligned to the proven practices of civic education embedded in the Illinois 6-8 and 9-12 civics course requirements and the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap, Theme 4 – A New Government and Constitution

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June 29, 2021 @ 10:30-11:30 AM EST | Using Performance Assessments in Social Studies

Standards implementation requires new thinking about assessment. One of the key questions when building a curriculum based on the standards is “how will we know students have learned it?” The current standards require students to engage in content, disciplinary literacy practices, and inquiry. Educators have identified the need to create assessments where students can demonstrate competency in these areas. This workshop will introduce educators to strategies to build classroom performance assessment tasks aligned to standards where students get opportunities to demonstrate what they are learning. Educators will walk away resources, tools, templates, and strategies to create their own classroom performance assessment tasks aligned to the Educating for American Democracy Pedagogy Companion.

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June 30, 2021 @ 10:30-11:45 AM EST | SCOTUS Update with Dr. Steven D. Schwinn

Join Dr. Steven D. Schwinn, Professor of Law at the UIC John Marshall Law School for a recap of this 20-21 SCOTUS term. Walk away with ideas and resources to enhance your classroom practice aligned with the 6-8 and 9-12 civics course requirements and the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap, Theme 5 – Institutional & Social Transformation.

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July 13, 2021 @ 10:30-11:30 AM EST | Building Better Rubrics for Student Feedback

Standards implementation requires new thinking about how assessment can be used to support student growth. One of their key questions when building a curriculum based on the standards is “how will we give students and stakeholders meaningful feedback that goes beyond measurement but enhances learning?” Engage with resources, templates, and strategies to create rubrics for performance assessment tasks in social studies. Walk away with new ideas and tools to enhance your current practice aligned with standards and the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap.

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July 14, 2021 @ 10:30-11:45 AM EST | How Can We Ensure Our Sources of Information about Contemporary Debates and Possibilities are Accurate and Fair?

Join the Illinois Civics Hub and Dr. Joel Breakstone, Director of the Stanford History Education Group SHEG, for an informative webinar on how to combat misinformation with research-based strategies that teach students across the curriculum how to evaluate information that affects them, their communities, and the world. Learn how to weave the SHEG resources into your current practice to prepare students for college, career, and civic life. This workshop aligns with the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap, Theme 7 – A People with Contemporary Debates & Possibilities.

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July 20, 2021 @ 10:30-11:30 AM EST | Making Thinking Visible

Do you want resources to help you know what students are thinking? Experience an inquiry utilizing metacognitive strategies from Harvard University’s Project Zero Visible Thinking Toolkit that can be used for both formative and summative assessment. Walk away with free, ready-to-use critical thinking protocols aligned to the Educating for American Democracy Pedagogy Companion. Appropriate for all grade levels.

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July 21, 2021 @ 10:30-11:45 AM EST | What Different Perspectives are there on How Our Geographic, Social, Economic, and Political Landscape Changed Over Time and on the Benefits and Costs of Those Changes?

Join the Illinois Civics Hub and the Chicago History Museum to explore how classroom inquiry around redlining can be used to help students examine how to take issues to informed action. Walk away with new ideas and tools to enhance your current practice aligned with Illinois Social Science standards and the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap, Theme 2 – Our Changing Landscape.

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July 27, 2021 @ 10:30-11:30 AM EST | Creating a Collaborative and Reflective Classroom for Inquiry

Student-centered deliberations and inquiry are at the core of emerging learning standards that span the curriculum. Learn research-based best practices in creating a safe environment for student participation in addressing the most essential questions facing our communities, Walk away with free resources and tools aligned to the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap to enhance your current practice.

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July 28, 2021 @ 10:30-11:45 AM EST | How Has the Role of the Executive Branch Changed Across our History?

Join the Illinois Civics Hub and Dr. Charles Flanagan, Outreach Supervisor for the Center for the Legislative Archives at the National Archives, to explore how to use online resources to teach about the development of U.S. foreign policy from the Age of Imperialism to the Cold War. The webinar will feature two eBooks and a classroom lesson highlighting 20th Century changes in America’s relationship to the world. The eBooks present political cartoons showing the evolution of U.S. foreign policy, from the Monroe Doctrine to America as a global leader. The cartoons also provide the context for Congress, the President, and the War Powers, a lesson examining the changing balance of power between the legislative and executive branches as America rose as a superpower. Walk away with new ideas and tools to enhance your current practice aligned with Illinois Social Science standards and the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap, Theme 6 – A People in the World.

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August 3, 2021 @ 10:30-11:30 AM EST | Navigating Difficult Classroom Conversations: Strategies for Engaging Students in Social Issue Discussions

Learn how to enhance your classroom practice of engaging students in civil discourse face to face or at a distance. Learn how to curate the right question, prompt, and strategy to meet your learning targets. Walk away with new ideas and tools to enhance your current practice aligned with standards and the Educating for American Democracy Pedagogy Companion.

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August 4, 2021 @ 10:30-11:45 AM EST | What Values, Virtues, and Principles can Knit Together "We the People" of the United States of America?

Join the Illinois Civics Hub and our Civics Learning Partners at the Bill of Rights Institute for a webinar that shares both strategies and resources to help classrooms explore, “What values, virtues, and principles can knit together ‘We, the People’ of the United States of America?” Walk away with ideas aligned to the proven practices of civic education embedded in the Illinois 6-8 and 9-12 civics course requirements and the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap, Theme 3 – We the People

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August 10, 2021 @ 10:30-11:30 AM EST | Equipping Students to take the L.E.A.D. with Service Learning

In this interactive session, explore how to design a curriculum to equip students to be responsible and participatory members of their community. Get connected with cross-curricular resources to provide meaningful and manageable service learning opportunities in your classroom aligned with the 6-8 and 9-12 civics course requirements and the Educating for American Democracy Pedagogy Companion and Roadmap.

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August 11, 2021 @ 10:30-11:45 AM EST | What are the Responsibilities and Opportunities of Citizenship and Civic Agency in America’s Constitutional Republic?

Join Illinois Civics and Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center IHMEC for an interactive webinar that teaches civics through history to prepare students for participation in our constitutional republic. Explore resources from IHMEC that you can use to enhance your classroom practice to help students address the essential question, How can I participate? Walk away with tools and strategies aligned to the Illinois Social Science standards, 6-8 and 9-12 civics course requirements, and the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap, Theme 1 – Civic Participation.

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August 17, 2021 @ 4:30-5:30 PM EST | Simulations of Democratic Processes: Do This, Not That!

Simulation of Democratic Processes are a proven practice of civic education that build student knowledge of the institutions the gird our republic as well as skills and dispositions for civic participation. Learn how to prepare, implement and reflect on manageable simulation experiences. Walk away with free resources and strategies to enhance your classroom practice aligned with the 6-8 and 9-12 civics course requirements and the Educating for American Democracy Pedagogy Companion.

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August 24, 2021 @ 4:30-5:30 PM EST | Classroom Resources Aligned to the Proven Practices of Civic Education

Join the Illinois Civics Instructional Coaches as they share their favorite FREE resources aligned to the 6-8 and 9-12 civics course mandates and the Educating for Democracy Roadmap and Pedagogy Companion. Collaborate with others as you sharpen your saw and prepare for powerful civics in the 2021-22 school year.

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We the People

This theme explores the idea of “the people” as a political concept–not just a group of people who share a landscape but a group of people who share political ideals and institutions.

Read more about the theme in:

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Institutional & Social Transformation

This theme explores how social arrangements and conflicts have combined with political institutions to shape American life from the earliest colonial period to the present, investigates which moments of change have most defined the country, and builds understanding of how American political institutions and society changes.

Read more about the theme in:

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Contemporary Debates & Possibilities

This theme explores the contemporary terrain of civic participation and civic agency, investigating how historical narratives shape current political arguments, how values and information shape policy arguments, and how the American people continues to renew or remake itself in pursuit of fulfillment of the promise of constitutional democracy.

Read more about the theme in:

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Civic Participation

This theme explores the relationship between self-government and civic participation, drawing on the discipline of history to explore how citizens’ active engagement has mattered for American society and on the discipline of civics to explore the principles, values, habits, and skills that support productive engagement in a healthy, resilient constitutional democracy. This theme focuses attention on the overarching goal of engaging young people as civic participants and preparing them to assume that role successfully.

Read more about the theme in:

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Our Changing landscapes

This theme begins from the recognition that American civic experience is tied to a particular place, and explores the history of how the United States has come to develop the physical and geographical shape it has, the complex experiences of harm and benefit which that history has delivered to different portions of the American population, and the civics questions of how political communities form in the first place, become connected to specific places, and develop membership rules. The theme also takes up the question of our contemporary responsibility to the natural world.

Read more about the theme in:

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A New Government & Constitution

This theme explores the institutional history of the United States as well as the theoretical underpinnings of constitutional design.

Read more about the theme in:

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A People in the World

This theme explores the place of the U.S. and the American people in a global context, investigating key historical events in international affairs,and building understanding of the principles, values, and laws at stake in debates about America’s role in the world.

Read more about the theme in:

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The Seven Themes

The Seven Themes provide the organizational  framework for the Roadmap. They map out the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that students should be able to explore in order to be engaged in informed, authentic, and healthy civic participation. Importantly, they are neither standards nor curriculum, but rather a starting point for the design of standards, curricula, resources, and lessons. 

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Driving questions provide a glimpse into the types of inquiries that teachers can write and develop in support of in-depth civic learning. Think of them as a  starting point in your curricular design.

Learn more about inquiry-based learning in  the Pedagogy Companion.

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Sample guiding questions are designed to foster classroom discussion, and can be starting points for one or multiple lessons. It is important to note that the sample guiding questions provided in the Roadmap are NOT an exhaustive list of questions. There are many other great topics and questions that can be explored.

Learn more about inquiry-based learning in the Pedagogy Companion.

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The Seven Themes

The Seven Themes provide the organizational  framework for the Roadmap. They map out the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that students should be able to explore in order to be engaged in informed, authentic, and healthy civic participation. Importantly, they are neither standards nor curriculum, but rather a starting point for the design of standards, curricula, resources, and lessons. 

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The Five Design Challenges

America’s constitutional politics are rife with tensions and complexities. Our Design Challenges, which are arranged alongside our Themes, identify and clarify the most significant tensions that writers of standards, curricula, texts, lessons, and assessments will grapple with. In proactively recognizing and acknowledging these challenges, educators will help students better understand the complicated issues that arise in American history and civics.

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Motivating Agency, Sustaining the Republic

  • How can we help students understand the full context for their roles as civic participants without creating paralysis or a sense of the insignificance of their own agency in relation to the magnitude of our society, the globe, and shared challenges?
  • How can we help students become engaged citizens who also sustain civil disagreement, civic friendship, and thus American constitutional democracy?
  • How can we help students pursue civic action that is authentic, responsible, and informed?
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America’s Plural Yet Shared Story

  • How can we integrate the perspectives of Americans from all different backgrounds when narrating a history of the U.S. and explicating the content of the philosophical foundations of American constitutional democracy?
  • How can we do so consistently across all historical periods and conceptual content?
  • How can this more plural and more complete story of our history and foundations also be a common story, the shared inheritance of all Americans?
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Simultaneously Celebrating & Critiquing Compromise

  • How do we simultaneously teach the value and the danger of compromise for a free, diverse, and self-governing people?
  • How do we help students make sense of the paradox that Americans continuously disagree about the ideal shape of self-government but also agree to preserve shared institutions?
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Civic Honesty, Reflective Patriotism

  • How can we offer an account of U.S. constitutional democracy that is simultaneously honest about the wrongs of the past without falling into cynicism, and appreciative of the founding of the United States without tipping into adulation?
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Balancing the Concrete & the Abstract

  • How can we support instructors in helping students move between concrete, narrative, and chronological learning and thematic and abstract or conceptual learning?
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Each theme is supported by key concepts that map out the knowledge, skills, and dispositions students should be able to explore in order to be engaged in informed, authentic, and healthy civic participation. They are vertically spiraled and developed to apply to K—5 and 6—12. Importantly, they are not standards, but rather offer a vision for the integration of history and civics throughout grades K—12.

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Helping Students Participate

  • How can I learn to understand my role as a citizen even if I’m not old enough to take part in government? How can I get excited to solve challenges that seem too big to fix?
  • How can I learn how to work together with people whose opinions are different from my own?
  • How can I be inspired to want to take civic actions on my own?
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America’s Shared Story

  • How can I learn about the role of my culture and other cultures in American history?
  • How can I see that America’s story is shared by all?
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Thinking About Compromise

  • How can teachers teach the good and bad sides of compromise?
  • How can I make sense of Americans who believe in one government but disagree about what it should do?
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Honest Patriotism

  • How can I learn an honest story about America that admits failure and celebrates praise?
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Balancing Time & Theme

  • How can teachers help me connect historical events over time and themes?
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The Six Pedagogical Principles

 EAD teacher draws on six pedagogical principles that are connected sequentially.

Six Core Pedagogical Principles are part of our Pedagogy Companion. The Pedagogical Principles are designed to focus educators’ effort on techniques that best support the learning and development of student agency required of history and civic education.

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This resource aligns with the core pedagogical principle of:

EAD teachers commit to learn about and teach full and multifaceted historical and civic narratives. They appreciate student diversity and assume all students’ capacity for learning complex and rigorous content. EAD teachers focus on inclusion and equity in both content and approach as they spiral instruction across grade bands, increasing complexity and depth about relevant history and contemporary issues.

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This resource aligns with the core pedagogical principle of:

Growth Mindset and Capacity Building

EAD teachers have a growth mindset for themselves and their students, meaning that they engage in continuous self-reflection and cultivate self-knowledge. They learn and adopt content as well as practices that help all learners of diverse backgrounds reach excellence. EAD teachers need continuous and rigorous professional development (PD) and access to professional learning communities (PLCs) that offer peer support and mentoring opportunities, especially about content, pedagogical approaches, and instruction-embedded assessments.

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This resource aligns with the core pedagogical principle of:

Building an EAD-Ready Classroom and School

EAD teachers cultivate and sustain a learning environment by partnering with administrators, students, and families to conduct deep inquiry about the multifaceted stories of American constitutional democracy. They set expectations that all students know they belong and contribute to the classroom community. Students establish ownership and responsibility for their learning through mutual respect and an inclusive culture that enables students to engage courageously in rigorous discussion.

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This resource aligns with the core pedagogical principle of:

Inquiry as the Primary Mode for Learning

EAD teachers not only use the EAD Roadmap inquiry prompts as entry points to teaching full and complex content, but also cultivate students’ capacity to develop their own deep and critical inquiries about American history, civic life, and their identities and communities. They embrace these rigorous inquiries as a way to advance students’ historical and civic knowledge, and to connect that knowledge to themselves and their communities. They also help students cultivate empathy across differences and inquisitiveness to ask difficult questions, which are core to historical understanding and constructive civic participation.

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This resource aligns with the core pedagogical principle of:

Practice of Constitutional Democracy and Student Agency

EAD teachers use their content knowledge and classroom leadership to model our constitutional principle of “We the People” through democratic practices and promoting civic responsibilities, civil rights, and civic friendship in their classrooms. EAD teachers deepen students’ grasp of content and concepts by creating student opportunities to engage with real-world events and problem-solving about issues in their communities by taking informed action to create a more perfect union.

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This resource aligns with the core pedagogical principle of:

Assess, Reflect, and Improve

EAD teachers use assessments as a tool to ensure all students understand civics content and concepts and apply civics skills and agency. Students have the opportunity to reflect on their learning and give feedback to their teachers in higher-order thinking exercises that enhance as well as measure learning. EAD teachers analyze and utilize feedback and assessment for self-reflection and improving instruction.

X
This resource aligns with the core pedagogical principle of:
EAD teachers commit to learn about and teach full and multifaceted historical and civic narratives. They appreciate student diversity and assume all students’ capacity for learning complex and rigorous content. EAD teachers focus on inclusion and equity in both content and approach as they spiral instruction across grade bands, increasing complexity and depth about relevant history and contemporary issues.

X
This resource aligns with the core pedagogical principle of:

Growth Mindset and Capacity Building

EAD teachers have a growth mindset for themselves and their students, meaning that they engage in continuous self-reflection and cultivate self-knowledge. They learn and adopt content as well as practices that help all learners of diverse backgrounds reach excellence. EAD teachers need continuous and rigorous professional development (PD) and access to professional learning communities (PLCs) that offer peer support and mentoring opportunities, especially about content, pedagogical approaches, and instruction-embedded assessments.

X
This resource aligns with the core pedagogical principle of:

Building an EAD-Ready Classroom and School

EAD teachers cultivate and sustain a learning environment by partnering with administrators, students, and families to conduct deep inquiry about the multifaceted stories of American constitutional democracy. They set expectations that all students know they belong and contribute to the classroom community. Students establish ownership and responsibility for their learning through mutual respect and an inclusive culture that enables students to engage courageously in rigorous discussion.

X
This resource aligns with the core pedagogical principle of:

Inquiry as the Primary Mode for Learning

EAD teachers not only use the EAD Roadmap inquiry prompts as entry points to teaching full and complex content, but also cultivate students’ capacity to develop their own deep and critical inquiries about American history, civic life, and their identities and communities. They embrace these rigorous inquiries as a way to advance students’ historical and civic knowledge, and to connect that knowledge to themselves and their communities. They also help students cultivate empathy across differences and inquisitiveness to ask difficult questions, which are core to historical understanding and constructive civic participation.

X
This resource aligns with the core pedagogical principle of:

Practice of Constitutional Democracy and Student Agency

EAD teachers use their content knowledge and classroom leadership to model our constitutional principle of “We the People” through democratic practices and promoting civic responsibilities, civil rights, and civic friendship in their classrooms. EAD teachers deepen students’ grasp of content and concepts by creating student opportunities to engage with real-world events and problem-solving about issues in their communities by taking informed action to create a more perfect union.

X
This resource aligns with the core pedagogical principle of:

Assess, Reflect, and Improve

EAD teachers use assessments as a tool to ensure all students understand civics content and concepts and apply civics skills and agency. Students have the opportunity to reflect on their learning and give feedback to their teachers in higher-order thinking exercises that enhance as well as measure learning. EAD teachers analyze and utilize feedback and assessment for self-reflection and improving instruction.