January 2023

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.
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Reading Like a Historian to Teach Inclusive History

with Dr. Joel Breakstone (Stanford History Education Group)

Join the Illinois Civics Hub (ICH) as we welcome back Dr. Joel Breakstone from the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) to explore how SHEG resources can support the implementation of the revised Illinois social science standards and course mandates to examine America's plural yet shared story.

The webinar is FREE, and PD credits are available through the DuPage Regional Office of Education. Register for the January 18th webinar from 3:30-4:45 p.m. CT using this link.

Future ICH webinars include:

You can visit the ICH Professional Development page for more opportunities to enhance your practice.

Administrator Academies Support Implementation of Revised IL 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.

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 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.

Helping Students Navigate the Public Policy Process

with Dr. Shawn P. Healy

Join Dr. Shawn P. Healy, Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Senior Director, Policy and Advocacy at iCivics, for an informative discussion on how to help students across the discipline navigate the public policy process. Explore resources and strategies to help ALL students form a more perfect union.

The Illinois Democracy Schools webinar is FREE, and PD credits are available through the DuPage Regional Office of Education. Register for the January 12 webinar (4-5 p.m. CT) using this link.

Future webinars include:

  • 2/9- Student Voice 360: Learn how to embrace a “360” approach to student voice in schools that impacts classroom instruction and schoolwide culture, climate, and engagement with the greater community.

  • 3/9- Taking Informed Action with Data from the Illinois Democracy Schools: Join Dr. Kelly Siegel-Stechler, Senior Researcher at the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement CIRCLE at Tufts University, for a lively discussion about what we can learn from the Illinois Democracy Schools data enhance civic learning across the disciplines and create a more supportive organizational culture.

You can visit the ICH Professional Development page for more opportunities to enhance your practice.

The 2023 iCivics Educator Network Applicaiton

The 2023 iCivics Educator Network application for NEW members is officially open! The iCivics Educator Network is an energetic group of educational professionals who represent iCivics with outreach and training and just as importantly, provide the organization with invaluable insights and guidance relating to the field, the profession, and the realities of the classroom.

The application deadline is January 20, 2023. If you have questions, contact Natacha Scott, Director of Engagement, at natacha.scott@icivics.org.

Plainest Demands of Justice:

Dialogues on the African American Experience

Bill of Rights Institute is bringing a FREE professional development seminar to Concordia University in March.

Date: 3/23/23

Time: 8am3pm, breakfast and lunch provided

Topic: Plainest Demands of Justice: Dialogues on the African American Experience

Location: Concordia University Chicago in River Forest, IL

Register here!

This event will allow participants to engage with a scholar expert to examine the African American experience throughout history using the newly-released primary source set. It will offer attendees rich interaction with BRI staff and fellow teacher colleagues as they share ideas of pedagogy and practical classroom applications. Please contact the BRI Events Team if you have any questions.

ISU History Symposium: Call for Proposals

Illinois State University seeks proposals for the 2023 History/Social Sciences Teacher Symposium on February 10. The conference theme is "Conflict & Harmony: Toward a Global Future." Sessions are approximately 50 minutes in length (including time for questions).

The proposal submission date is January 3, 2023, at 11:59 pm CT. The symposium includes various disciplines, including history, government, psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, and geography. Grade levels span from Pre-K to high school.

History Symposium proposals can be submitted using this link.

If you would like more information about the symposium or want to register, you can use this link.

Apply for the Street Law Supreme Court Summer Institute

The application period for the 2023 Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers is open until March 1, 2023. 

Each year, Street Law selects 60 teachers from a pool of applicants to come to Washington for six days of educational activities that strengthen and expand instruction about the U.S. Supreme Court. The Institute is funded and delivered in partnership with the Supreme Court Historical Society.

Teachers participate in sessions led by Supreme Court experts, journalists, and lawyers, as well as Street Law's Cathy Ruffing and Lee Arbetman. The Institute covers six current (or recent cases) and prepares teachers to use innovative methods to teach about both current and historical cases.

Visit the Street Law website for more details and/or to apply.

Are you the next Street Law Champion?

Since 2005, Street Law has honored a handful of extraordinary classroom teachers through an annual award known as the Street Law Classroom Champion Award.

The select few educators given this award represent the best of the best in civic education. This includes teachers like you who build civic agency and advance justice in their classrooms daily.

The winner (and one guest) will receive a FREE trip to Washington, DC, to attend the Street Law Awards Gala on April 20, 2023. They will also join an exclusive and impressive line-up of previous honorees from around the country.

Please consider nominating yourself (or a colleague) to give us a window into your classroom so we can see Street Law materials in action.

The application deadline is January 6, 2023.



Educating for a Diverse Democracy: The Chilling Role of Political Conflict in Blue, Purple, and Red Communities

There is a pressing need to prepare all youth to take part in a diverse democracy, which requires learning opportunities that explore the full histories of varied groups, build students' capacities for respectful evidence-based dialogue, and develop commitments to robust civil liberties and recognition of the dignity of fellow citizens. However, drawing on surveys and interviews with a national sample of principals, a new report by John Rogers (UCLA), Joseph Kahne (UCR), and the Educating for a Diverse Democracy research team found that US public high schools are increasingly limited in their ability to support this vital goal.

To access the full report, click here

You can also find media coverage of the report in the following outlets:

Applications Are Open: 2023 Retro Report Teacher Advisory Groups

Are you an educator who frequently uses Retro Report videos in the classroom? Retro Report is looking for social studies, E.L.A., science, E.L.L., and special education teachers to join our Retro Report community. 

Members of the Council of Educators will receive a stipend, paid lesson writing opportunities, and Retro Report apparel. Responsibilities include creating lesson plans, providing feedback and spreading the word about Retro Report resources.

Teacher Ambassadors will receive a stipend, early access to RR videos and lessons and opportunities for paid lesson writing for participating in virtual meetings, completing surveys, and sharing Retro Report videos and lessons.

Applications are open now, with a deadline of Jan. 13, 2023.

Questions? Reach out to the Director of Education on Twitter @davidjohnolson or via email at dolson@retroreport.com.

Free Virtual Teaching Trunks from the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center

Illinois Holocaust Museum’s literature-based teaching trunk program provides K–12 educators with a wide array of resources for classrooms with units on character education, human rights, the Holocaust, and/or genocide.

Each trunk allows educators to create meaningful age/grade-appropriate lessons employing award–winning fiction and nonfiction, historical references, and other educational materials. Each trunk has been carefully developed to address state and nationallLearning standards, including Common Core State Standards. Teaching Trunks are provided free of charge.

For more information, visit the IHMEC website.

Bill of Rights in Action Available to Download Now

The latest issue of the Bill of Rights in Action from the Constitutional Rights Foundation is now available. This special edition features "The Bill of (Twelve) Rights: Contingency and the Constitution" by Emily Brooks, Ph.D., in partnership with the Center for Education & Schools at the New York Public Library.

U.S. History: The Bill of (Twelve) Rights: Contingency and the Constitution 

World History: Tlaxcalan: The Indigenous Democracy of Mexico

Articles are reproducible for the classroom and feature:

  • Writing and Discussion Questions
  • Small-Group Activities
  • National, California, and Common Core State Standards Addressed
  • Complete Sources Listed

Download it today!

Defusing the History Wars

More in Common's Defusing the History Wars report explores polarization in the national conversation over how U.S. history should be taught to future generations. The report includes:

Additional resources can be found on the More in Common website. 

News Literacy Week

January 23-27, 2023

Presented by the News Literacy Project in partnership with the E.W. Scripps Company, the fourth annual News Literacy Week campaign highlights the vital role of news literacy in a democracy and provides free resources to help people of all ages and backgrounds become savvier consumers of news and other information. 

National News Literacy Week, Jan. 2327, 2023, will offer a variety of ways for educators, students, and the public to get involved.
For more information, visit the NLP website.

Teach Different Administrator Academy

The Teach Different team invites you to join their first administrator academy.

Participants will learn a three-step conversation protocol that motivates inquiry, strengthens SEL skills, and fosters critical thinking in adults and students. This course is relevant for all school administrators, especially department chairs and staff developers.

All participants receive ongoing free access to this online community during and after the course is over.

For more information and to register, use this link.

Join Asian Americans Advancing Justice for Free PD to Support the T.E.A.A.C.H. Act

With its historic passage in April of 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.

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:

  • Elementary/Grades K-5
  • January 23, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
  • February 6, 4:25-6:15 p.m.
  • February 16, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
  • March 7, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Secondary/ Grades 6-12
  • January 31, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
  • February 13, 4:15-6:15 p.m.
  • February 22, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
  • March 16, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

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

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, and 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 February 11, 2023. 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 July 15, 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.


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.

Planning for Summer PD


The Council for State Social Studies Supervisors has compiled a list of the wealth of professional development opportunities available to social studies educators in the summer of 2023. A special thanks to all of the organizations who contributed to this work and the many organizations offering high-quality social studies professional development for social studies teachers across the country. Many of the opportunities are offered for free or at a low cost. Please email Stefanie Wager at stefanie.rosenbergwager@gmail.com with any questions, comments, or to add programs to this list.

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. Follow our blog for weekly updates on emerging research on civics, “teachable moments,” and related materials.