July 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.
Civics, Standards, and Media Literacy
Choose Your Own Adventure for Summer PD
The revised Illinois Social Science standards provide a pathway to prepare our youngest citizens for college, career, and civic life in the 21st century. Join the Illinois Civics Hub for a blended learning experience where you “choose your own adventure” by mixing and matching various virtual and face-to-face options to build a professional development experience that fits your needs. This summer experience is FREE through a Robert R. McCormick Foundation grant.

Civics, Standards, and Media Literacy Workshop: Join the Illinois Civics Hub for an interactive workshop to deconstruct the revised social science standards to audit and enhance current practice. Experience the proven civic education practices with lesson demonstrations in time for the 2022 midterm elections. Walk away with FREE resources aligned to standards and educational mandates in civics, media literacy, and Inclusive American History. Lunch will be provided.

FREE Summer Institute with the ABA and U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois

The ABA and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois are excited to offer their summer teachers professional development program for 2022. This unique, one-day Teachers Institute will focus on the history of voting rights and current cases involving access to the polls. The Institute offers up-close access to federal judges and judiciary staff.

  • When: July 21, 2022
  • Where: Everett M. Dirksen Courthouse, 219 S. Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois
  • Benefits: New this year! Teachers who participate in our Summer Institute will be invited to bring their students to the courthouse for a tour and meetings with court officials during the school year. We are excited to offer three bus scholarships (of up to $500/school) to Institute participants.
  • Questions? Please contact Catherine Hawke at catherine.hawke@americanbar.org

Meals and materials are included. Participants will be reimbursed for parking and train or bus fare.

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
  • Dee Runaas, Constitutional Democracy Project
  • Dr. Steven D. Schwinn, 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.

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.
RISE Summit: Reagan Institute Summit on Education

The Reagan Institute Summit on Education (RISE) brings together leaders and key stakeholders in the education community including members of Congress, leaders in the education sector, scholars, state Governors, business leaders, administration officials, and others to address the purpose and health of education in the United States.

In 2022, RISE will examine Networked: The Quest for Connectivity. This year’s theme endeavors to examine connectivity in its most literal sense, through broadband and infrastructure, as well as through the individual and systemic connections students need to thrive. As learners emerge from a global pandemic, battling a sense of seismic isolation and addressing holistic support will be critical to the education equation. Similarly, in the wake of generational investments in education, local school systems and state legislatures must work in concert to ensure that this opportunity equitably shifts our schools to prepare students for the challenges of the 22nd century.

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. 

Join the CivXNow Coalition

"Recognizing that preparing our youth to assume the responsibilities and understand their rights as active participants in the civic life of this great nation is essential to the health of our constitutional democracy, the CivXNow Coalition pledges to help every school in the nation fulfill its historic and vital civic mission. We pledge to ensure that every young person acquires the civic knowledge, skills, and behaviors necessary for informed and authentic civic engagement."

CivXNow members are continuing to join forces to raise awareness of the civic mission of schools. CivXNow coalition says there are three realities of quality civic learning:
  1. It is core to the health of our constitutional democracy.
  2. Each and every student should have access to it.
  3. it is a nonpartisan endeavor that engages students across the viewpoint spectrum.

The CivXNow goal is to prioritize the nonpartisan civic mission of schools for each and every learner in order to sustain and strengthen our nation's democracy! Take some time to check them out and stay engaged in promoting civics education!
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 July 15, 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 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.
  • 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.

Cantigny Park and Leagues of Women Voters of Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Greater Kane County, and Roselle/Bloomingdale, in honor of commemorating the Constitution, are hosting an abbreviated session using the Harvard Case Method on July 14 from 6-7:00 p.m. via Zoom and in person at Cantigny Park in Wheaton. Registration information is available at this link.
Binge-Worthy Recommendations
Summer is a time for many of us to relax, reflect, and recalibrate after a demanding school year. It is also a time to "catch up" on popular media: podcasts, books, TV series, etc. We asked some of our regional civics instructional coaches, for their "binge-worthy" recommendations, including both civics and non-civics-related themes. Here are some of their picks:

Jason Artman (LaSalle, Putnam, Marshall, Woodford, Peoria, Tazewell, and Mason Counties): With all the recent and upcoming Star Wars shows, binging the two animated series The Clone Wars and Rebels introduces you to many of the characters who are making their first appearances in the live-action Star Wars universe.

Tracy Freeman (Livingston, McClean, Ford, Champaign, Vermilion, Piatt, Macon, Dewitt, and Logan Counties): Who Are We on Netflix. Jeffrey Robinson chronicles an amazing timeline of American Race relations. His legal arguments and historical approach mixed with interviews are so well done.

I also recommend the Civics 101 and Advisory Opinions podcasts to keep up with SCOTUS.

Logan Ridenour (St. Clair, Clinton, Marion, Jefferson, Perry, Randolph, Jackson, Union, Monroe, Alexander, Washington, and Pulaski Counties): 1883 is an excellent show that details the struggles of those facing the Oregon Trail. It is interesting and definitely sucks you right into the lives of the characters.

Matt Wood (West Cook, DuPage, Kane, and DeKalb Counties): The Argument podcast is definitely binge-worthy! Set up in a point-counterpoint format, this podcast has really helped me exercise my brain and stay on top of the current and societal discussions mandate. Every Wednesday is a new argument, so check it out

Rick Perlstein is an American Historian whom I first encountered in the form of a talking head on CNN’s Decade series. This series is a comprehensive look at the latter decades of the 20th century with episodes focusing on specific topics (i.e., Civil Rights, Vietnam, etc.) This series in itself is worth binging and possibly incorporating into your classrooms as it does take on the perspectives of the time.

Perlstein is also a prolific author. He has written a series that dives into the incredible depths of the American political scene, starting with the candidacy of Barry Goldwater in Before The Storm and carrying readers through to Reagan’s ascension to the White House in Reaganland. Not exactly a quick binge, this series does provide a perspective on the change that occurred in the GOP during the latter half of the 20th century.

Corie Yow (Menard, Sangamon, Macoupin, Christian, Montgomery, Bond, Fayette, Effingham, Madison, Jersey, Greene, and Calhoun Counties): The G Word with Adam Conover is a 2022 American documentary comedy show on Netflix. Each episode focused on a different aspect of the government and the role it plays in our lives. It is produced by Barack Obama and is based partly on The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy by Michael Lewis.

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.