August 2022
Illinois Civics Hub Newsletter
A newsletter for Illinois teachers to support the implementation of the Illinois middle and high school civics course requirements and K-12 social science standards.
Resources to Implement the Revised Illinois Social Science Standards

This past July, the revised Illinois Social Science standards and new course mandates went into effect for the 2022-23 school year. The Illinois Civics Hub traveled throughout the state of Illinois this summer to facilitate both virtual and in-person workshops to support educators with implementation.

Our work to support the implementation of the revised standards and course mandates continues this fall with a series of Administrator Academies, offered virtually to give school-based teams equitable opportunities to enhance their practice.

These Academies are open to both administrators and teachers for either academy credit or PD hours. School-based teams are encouraged to participate and will have an opportunity to collaborate and reflect on learning through each session. Individual participants will have the opportunity to work with affinity groups in breakout rooms.

Visit the Illinois Civics Hub for more information on professional development to support rigorous and relevant civic learning.
Illinois Civics Hub Launches Tools to Support Middle School Civics

  • For the past few months, the Illinois Civics Hub (ICH) Instructional Coaches have been working to deconstruct the 6-8th grade revised civics standards into student-friendly language and resources to help middle school educators navigate the revisions to the Illinois Civics Standards. The ICH Civics coaches represent the regional diversity and expertise of the state of Illinois from Carbondale to Antioch and Macomb to Charleston.

The recently published Deconstructed Middle School Civics Standards provide a pathway for standards-based curriculum design as well as formative and summative assessments. Each document outlines:
  • levels of complexity for each standard
  • an analysis of the DOK associated with the verbs in the standard
  • suggested essential questions to guide curriculum design and summative assessment
  • student-friendly "I can" statements to guide lesson planning and formative assessments

The ICH Standards and Mandates site also provides a:
  • chart that compares and contrasts the 2016 and 2022 standards for each grade level
  • link to the Illinois course mandates
  • middle school course audit tool
  • high school course audit tool
  • resources aligned to the Educating for American Democracy Pedagogy Companion to implement the curricular shifts of the revised standards

Stay tuned for our launch of the Deconstructed High School Civics Standards coming soon!

Democracy Schools Network Annual Convening
Civic Learning and Media Literacy Across the Disciplines

The Illinois Democracy Schools Network would like to invite you to attend their annual convening on Thursday, September 15, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Double Tree Hilton in Lisle, Illinois. This year's theme is Civic Learning and Media Literacy Across the Disciplines.

Featured presenters include:
  • Karim Ani, Citizen Math
  • Dr. Joel Breakstone, Stanford History Education Group
  • Megan Clark and Heidi Moisan, Chicago History Museum
  • Amanda Friedeman, Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center
  • Meghan Goldenstein, Mikva Challenge
  • Cathie Hawke, The American Bar Association 
  • Dr. Shawn P. Healy, iCivics and CivXNow Coalition
  • Dr. Joe Kahne, Civic Engagement Research Group
  • David Olson, The Retro Report
  • Michelle Ramos, Environmental Education Association of Illinois
  • Dr. Steven D. Schwinn, the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Law
  • Dr. Kelly Siegel-Stechler, Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning  
  • Michael Spikes, Illinois Media Literacy Coalition
  • Heather Van Benthuysen, Chicago Public Schools
  • Mary Ellen Young, SEL Hub at the DuPage Regional Office of Education

Registration includes a light breakfast and lunch. PD hours will be provided.

Teaching Inclusive History with the Constitutional Democracy Project

The Constitutional Democracy Project, with a grant from the Library of Congress and using Teaching with Primary Sources rich digital LGBTQ+ collections, will hold a 2-day professional development workshop to create lesson plans and activities that explore the place of the LGBTQ+ equality movement in American history; milestones for the LGBTQ+ community; and court cases that secured civil rights for LGBTQ+ people. This workshop aligns with the Illinois Inclusive Curriculum Requirement.

Teacher stipends will be provided to those educators that attend both days and participate in creating lesson content. CPDU Credit Available

This workshop is partly sponsored by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Midwest Region Program, coordinated by Illinois State University. For more information and to register, visit the Constitutional Democracy Project website.
SCOTUS Preview Webinar

Join the Illinois Civics Hub as we welcome Dr. Steven D. Schwinn, Professor of Law at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Law, for a webinar on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, at 3:30 p.m. Dr. Schwinn will preview the upcoming term of the Supreme Court of the United States. Learn what cases are on the docket and the impact of the recent term on public policy at both the state and federal levels of government.

This webinar is aligned with Theme 5 of the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap: Institutional and Social Transformation.

Meet Grace Northern- the ICH Stevenson Fellow

The Illinois Civics Hub and the Illinois Democracy School Network are delighted to welcome Grace Northern to our research-practice partnership with the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. Grace is a fellow from the Stevenson Center at Illinois State University.

Grace will be working on evaluating Illinois Middle School civic education standards and supporting the Democracy Schools project. She is a second-year graduate student from the Stevenson Center at Illinois State University, pursuing her M.S. in Political Science and Applied Community and Economic Development. Her research centers on youth civic engagement, youth voter turnout, and youth participation in community development. Before joining CIRCLE, she worked with multiple community development organizations, including serving as a youth development promoter in Peace Corps Costa Rica. She holds a B.A. in History and International Studies from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She currently lives in Chicago with her partner Jon and their dog, Beans. In her free time, she enjoys biking, climbing, and playing board games.
Participate in the Illinois Mock Election

The Illinois Civics course requirements at both middle and high school require the use of simulations of democratic processes in the classroom. Simulations like mock elections can demystify democratic institutions that gird our republic by providing an opportunity for students to apply civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions in a safe and supportive context to prepare for civic life as an adult.

The Illinois Civics Hub and the Illinois Democracy School Network are joining Kids Voting USA to provide classrooms throughout Illinois with the opportunity to participate in the Kids Voting Illinois Statewide Mock Election this year.

Schools that participate in this simulation of a democratic process will be connected to:
  • A ballot tailored to their region with candidates for U.S. House and Senate, IL House and Senate, and statewide offices like the governor.
  • Cross-curricular resources to facilitate school-wide mock elections.
  • A secure voting platform through Double Click Democracy that is SOPPA compliant to protect student privacy. Students can vote via electronic or paper ballot.
  • Post-election results to analyze your school’s participation.

Democracy is NOT a spectator sport! Register your school TODAY for the Kids Voting Illinois Statewide mock election and share it with your colleagues.
Join Asian Americans Advancing Justice for Free PD to Support the T.E.A.A.C.H. Act

With its historic passage in April 2021, the Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History (T.E.A.A.C.H.) Act amended Illinois School Code, ensuring every public elementary and high school student in Illinois learns about the contributions of Asian Americans to the economic, cultural, social, and political development of the United States.

Beginning with the 2022-23 school year, every public elementary school and high school shall include in its curriculum a unit of instruction studying the events of Asian American history, including the history of Asian Americans in Illinois and the Midwest, as well as the contributions of Asian Americans toward advancing civil rights from the 19th century onward.

The Illinois Civics Hub is partnering with Asian Americans Advancing Justice to offer FREE PD hours to K-12 educators looking to deepen their own understanding of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) history as well as classroom resources to support cross-cultural education for all students in Illinois aligned with the revised social science standards.

Educators can click the links below to choose from the following webinar opportunities:

Be sure to visit the Asian Americans Advancing Justice site for more resources to implement the T.E.A.A.C.H. Act.
OER Conference for Social Studies

Join the OER Conference for Social Studies (OC for SS) August 3-4, 2022! The OER Conference for Social Studies is a free online professional development event structured to foster discussion around social studies teaching practices and how to adapt to teaching and learning in or out of the classroom. It combines asynchronous videos with live, online, moderated discussions.

Track Talks
Track Talks are short TED-style videos recorded by leading educators on the topics you need to know about as a teacher. OER will be gradually releasing these videos in the weeks leading up to the conference to give you time to check them out and discuss them in the conference discussion forum ahead of the event.
This year's talks will be organized into five tracks or themes: 
  • Assessing Historical Thinking
  • Bringing Context to World Events
  • Crafting Inquiry
  • Literacy
  • Taking Informed Action

You can watch these teacher-led, 5–15-minute Track Talks on their website before, during, or after the conference. During the conference, each of the five tracks will have a dedicated hour of live discussion with educator input.

Keynote Speakers
In the past, OER welcomed keynote speakers like civil rights activist Bryan Stevenson and author and educator John Green. OER past keynotes also include luminaries like Linda Darling-Hammond, Yohuru Williams, Jill Lepore, Jane Kamensky, and LaGarrett King. This year, each day of the conference will start and end with an inspiring keynote session. 

Register now to be the first to hear when OER announces their keynote speakers. 

Earn Your Microcredentials: Become a Guardian of Democracy Educator

The Illinois Civics Hub has partnered with the Lou Frey Institute at the University of Central Florida to provide educators the opportunity to earn their microcredentials in the proven practices of civic education embedded in the middle and high school civics course requirements in Illinois. Courses include:
  • Current and Controversial Issue DiscussionsLearn from academic experts Dr. Diana Hess & Dr. Paula McAvoy as you explore the purpose, role, and function of discussion strategies as pedagogical tools to equip young people to be engaged citizens. This course will enhance the practice of educators with strategies and resources to create a classroom climate in which there are equitable opportunities for ALL students to engage in dialogue about essential questions across the curriculum.
  • Simulations of Democratic ProcessesLearn from academic experts Dr. Walter Parker & Dr. Jane Lo as you explore how democratic processes and procedures occur as part of the regular functioning of government, in each of the three branches of government, and at each level of government. This course will guide you through the purpose, planning, and implementation of three simulations: town hall meetings, legislative hearings, and moot courts.
  • Informed Action through Service LearningLearn from academic experts Dr. Joseph Kahne and Jessica Marshall as you explore the purpose, role, and function of informed action through service learning as a pedagogical tool to equip young people with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be active members of their community. In this course, you will interact with strategies and tools that you can use in your classroom to support student-centered informed action through service learning.

Registration information is available on the Guardians of Democracy homepage. Those who successfully complete the 5-week online course will earn a Bronze Certified Guardian of Democracy Educator badge via Badgr and the University of Central Florida Center for Distributive Learning.

Participants can earn 15 PD hours through the DuPage Regional Office of Education for an additional fee.

There are three strands of courses for each proven practice of civics education. Graduate credit is available through the University of St. Francis for completing all three courses. For more information, please visit the Guardians of Democracy homepage.
KQED Call for Change Youth Media Challenge

Young people are leading the way as advocates for change on a local, national, and global levels. Help your students reach beyond the classroom and share their ideas for how to make the world a better place with this audio or video commentary project from KQED.

This opportunity for informed action through service learning is great for English, history, social studies, government, economics, humanities, science, health, and any classes interested in reflecting on real-world issues.

Submissions are accepted through June 2023. For more information, visit the Call for Change site.
Using the Question Formulation Technique with Primary Sources

Primary sources have a magical ability to bring academic content to life for students. The Right Question Institute launched a new online hub where teachers can find dozens of free, new resources for using the Question Formulation Technique with primary sources — to unlock student curiosity and strengthen critical thinking. Here's what you'll find:

  • free professional learning
  • demonstration videos
  • lesson planning tools
  • lesson examples

Confirmation Bias and Motivated Reasoning Infographic from News Literacy Project

People generally feel that their opinions are rational and carefully considered. But in reality, we are all vulnerable to an array of cognitive biases that distort our understanding of the world around us. We don’t give all facts and pieces of information the same attention or consideration. We have an unconscious tendency to selectively find and interpret information that reinforces what we already believe.

This new infographic from the News Literacy Project is a handy primer on this important topic. You can view and download it here.

National Issue Forum Historic Decisions Issue Guides & Resources

On June 14, 2022, the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) hosted an online introduction to creating and using Historic Decisions issue guides. The online exchange featured insights and experiences of educators across the country who have participated in cooperative research projects with the Kettering Foundation over the past seven years.

The workshop panel was facilitated by Mark Wilson, director, The Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities, Auburn University, and Cristin Brawner, Kettering Foundation associate.

Panelists included:
  • Gabrielle Lamplugh, communications director, Mikva Challenge, and former director of education for the David Mathews Center for Civic Life
  • Magdalena Mieri, director, Special Initiatives, and director, Program in Latino History and Culture, Smithsonian National Museum of American History
  • Nicole Moore, director of education, National Center for Civil and Human Rights
  • Clare Shubert, Capstone director, Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes, and former director of Engagement and Programming, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
  • Sarah S. Wilson, director of education, Autry Museum of the American West

Research on Youth Civic Participation from CIRCLE

The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University is a non-partisan, independent research organization focused on youth civic engagement in the United States. CIRCLE conducts extensive research on youth participation and leverages that research to improve opportunities for all young people to acquire and use their skills and knowledge to participate meaningfully in civic life. CIRCLE is especially concerned with understanding, addressing, and ultimately eliminating the systemic barriers that keep some young people marginalized from and underrepresented in civic life.

The CIRCLE Growing Voters report introduces and details a paradigm-shifting framework for developing the next generation of voters. Based on rigorous, comprehensive research, including findings from an exclusive survey of teens, it serves as a guide for every institution and community to play a role in this work. The report includes actionable recommendations for educators, organizers, policymakers, journalists, funders, families, young leaders, and more. Only by working together can we close voting gaps, expand the electorate, and support a more equitable and representative American democracy.

Explore its pages, and download the executive summary and the full version.
Harvard Case Method Institute
The Case Method Institute for Education and Democracy is seeking teachers to join in its efforts to advance U.S. history, government, and civics instruction in high schools while deepening students’ interest in, and engagement with, democracy in America. The Institute offers training in the case method, the core pedagogical approach at many business and other professional schools, as well as access to the complete “History of American Democracy” curriculum originally developed for students at Harvard College and Harvard Business School. In comments echoing the feedback of teachers and students nationwide, an undergraduate described this new approach to U.S. history in its inaugural year as “the civics course everyone should take.”

U.S. history, government, and civics teachers with students in grades 9-12 are invited to participate in the next professional development workshop to be held on August 20, 2022. Everything—including the workshop, curriculum, and supporting resources—is provided entirely free of charge. The opportunity includes:
  • An afternoon of Zoom-based training with Professor David Moss of Harvard Business School on August 20th, including an interactive case discussion.
  • Complete access to more than 20 cases exploring key decision-points in the history of American democracy ranging from the Constitutional Convention to the Civil Rights Movement.
  • An asynchronous virtual training program, completed before the Zoom-based session with Professor Moss, where participants will become familiar with case method teaching.
  • Ongoing support and continued collaboration with Institute staff, prioritizing a two-way exchange of ideas around best practices for teaching by the case method in high schools.
  • Illinois educators can register through the Illinois Civics Hub at the DuPage Regional Office of Education for 12 PD hours for no additional fee. REGISTER HERE.
Resources to Create Culture and Support Before Challenging Content
August is when many educators return to the classroom and begin the year by engaging student voices in creating norms around the essential question, "How shall we live together?" The Pedagogy Companion to the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap provides guidance on "teacher moves" to create culture and support before challenging content.
  • INTENTIONALLY SEEK to learn more about students and their families and strive to build relationships with and among students.
  • CREATE opportunities through various discussion structures and protocols for students to understand diverse perspectives.
  • HELP students engage productively with disagreements and solve conflicts.
  • SUPPORT students to process emotionally difficult events using different modes of expression, including dialoguing, writing, and creating art.

We asked our Illinois Civics Instructional coaches for some of their favorite strategies to start the school year. Here are some of their suggestions.

Tracy Freeman (Livingston, McClean, Ford, Champaign, Vermilion, Piatt, Macon, Dewitt, and Logan Counties): My favorite (resource) is What’s Your FRAME? from Learning for Justice. However, I would suggest connecting to the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap to reinforce the WHY of using this resource. I also really like using this in activities like the Structured Academic Controversy (SAC) vs. Debate.

Candace Fikis (South Cook, Will, Kendal, Grundy, Kankakee, and Iroquois Counties): Have students create their own “identity frame” to introduce themselves to the class, including how to pronounce their names. Please see the frame above for an example.

Logan Ridenour (St. Clair, Clinton, Marion, Jefferson, Perry, Randolph, Jackson, Union, Monroe, Alexander, Washington, and Pulaski Counties): I really like to use the strategy of Contracting to create classroom norms. This PowerPoint from @msgreenedu walks you through this step by step.

Chris Johnson (Mercer, Warren, Henderson, Knox, Fulton, McDonough, Schuyler, Cass, Morgan, Scott, Brown, Pike, Adams, and Hancock Counties): Civics Self Portrait from Facing History and Ourselves is a great introduction activity to get to know your students. While this is similar to the FRAME activity that Tracy mentioned above, the Self-Portrait provides a little more structure for students. Students have some guidance on what categories or “buckets” to fill out while still leaving plenty of room for creativity and individualism. Teachers and students can learn from each other about why they think, act, and speak the way that they do.

Connect with your Regional Coach today! Visit our website to find out more, and reach out to get on their monthly regional email listserv.

This monthly newsletter from the Illinois Civics Hub, hosted at the DuPage Regional Office of Education, provides educators with timely professional development opportunities and classroom resources. For weekly updates on emerging research on civics, “teachable moments,” and related materials, follow our blog.