June 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.

Introductory Webinar- Civics, Standards, and Media Literacy: An Overview of Social Science Shifts in Illinois: This webinar provides an overview of the revised Illinois Social Science standards and related course mandates. Participants complete a reflection activity to set an agenda for in-person and virtual workshops to follow this summer. Choose from these remaining dates and times.

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.

Understanding the Revisions to the Illinois Social Science Standards

The Illinois Civics Hub (ICH) is hosting a series of professional development opportunities to help stakeholders understand the revisions to the Illinois Social Science standards scheduled to go into effect in the 2022-23 school year.

On Tuesday, June 16, the ICH, in partnership with the Joliet Professional Development Alliance, will host an online Administrator Academy, Exploring the New Illinois Social Studies and Civic Requirements K-12, open to district leadership and teachers, to provide an overview of the framework of the new social studies standards for K-12. Participants will explore how the revised standards incorporate both disciplinary concepts and inquiry skills that empower students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions for success in college, career, and civic life. Explicit connections will be made between the revised standards, Common Core State Standards in ELA Literacy, SEL, and the Danielson Framework for Effective Teaching. There is a fee for this academy, and participants can earn either academy credit or professional hours.

For more information and registration links, visit the ICH Professional Development calendar.
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.

Applications for iCivics’ Youth Fellowship Are Open!

Do you have students in grades 9-12 who are interested in civics, education, equity, government, history, justice, or politics? They may be perfect candidates for the Equity in Civics Youth Fellowship

This paid, 10-month fellowship brings together a talented group of high school students from around the country to think globally, act locally, listen carefully, and build coalitions effectively. Fellows will utilize their lived experiences to shed light on how civic education can include student voices and become more equitable. During this virtual program, fellows will research equity issues in civic education in their school communities and address the practices and policies related to their civic learning experiences. In addition, they will engage in group projects and guided discussion; build and lead student voice campaigns, and benefit from various other occasions. 

We welcome all high school students who meet the following criteria to apply by June 13, 2022
  1. U.S. student in high school during the 2022–23 school year. 
  2. Interested in civics, education, equity, government, history, justice, or politics.
  3. Ability to attend an in-person gathering in Washington D.C. in October 2022 (paid for by the fellowship program). 

Interested students must complete the student application and have an educator/mentor complete a nomination form to be considered for the program.
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.
Extremism in America from Retro Report

Extremism in America from Retro Report is a 5-episode series that looks into the roots and rise of extremist groups. This series was produced with The WNET Group’s reporting initiative Exploring Hate. Episodes include:
  • The Order
  • The Oklahoma City Bombing
  • Missing Warnings
  • A Surge in Violence
  • Out of the Shadows

Retro Report is developing educational materials to accompany the series. If you anticipate using these videos in your classroom, Retro Report would love to hear how and why these short films can support your curriculum. Reach out to David Olson, director of education at dolson@retroreport.com.
Join KQED on June 15 for an online workshop designed to help students build science communication skills and share their learning in all science subjects with mini-documentaries!

At this interactive and hands-on workshop, you’ll start your own mini-documentary as a model for students and leave with curriculum, resources, and ideas to make science concepts visible in your classroom.

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 all 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. 

REL Resources for Educators of English Learner Students

English learners are the fastest-growing group of students in U.S. schools, with 43 states seeing increases in their English Learner (EL) student population between the 2000-2001 and 2016-2017 school years.

The ten Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs) are committed to supporting EL students and their families so that students can thrive in school and beyond. To this end, RELs have partnered with states and districts to identify and address the needs and priorities of EL students and have formed a cross-REL working group to advance this work. Over the past eight years, the group has explored EL issues relevant to REL work, acted as a clearinghouse on key EL news and updates, and has shared REL work on EL topics internally and externally.

In this powerful blog, REL Resources for Educators of English Learner Students, Heidi Larson shares resources for identifying English Learner students and their needs, focusing support, and other resources.

Check it out today!

National Issues Forum
Online Introduction to Creating and Using
Historic Decisions Issue Guides

Tuesday, June 14, 2022
2-3 p.m. ET Panel Discussion via Zoom
3-3:30 p.m. ET
Networking among participants

Join museum and humanities educators from across the country for an online introduction to creating issue guides for deliberating about historic decisions. Looking at history from a deliberative perspective expands our sense of who can be a political actor and where political actions can occur. Deliberative forums where participants weigh the benefits and drawbacks of various approaches to a past problem offer new insights into history and to the role of citizens. Historic decision issue guides are often used by teachers with middle and high school students.

For information on deliberation, click here, and for examples of historic decisions issue guides, click here. This workshop is hosted by the National Issues Forums Institute and based on what has been learned from cooperative research projects with the Kettering Foundation and the panelists over the past seven years.

New Bill of Rights in Action from Constitutional Rights Foundation Available to Download Now

Since 1967, the Constitutional Rights Foundation has published its quarterly newsletter, Bill of Rights In Action. The newsletter and archives provide educators with high quality lesson plans on U.S. history, world history, and government. The most recent edition provides resources for:

  • World History: Yugoslavia: A Divided Land
  • U.S. History: Mother Jones: ‘The Most Dangerous Woman in America’ 
  • Civics on Call: What Is Seditious Conspiracy?

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

NEW White Paper from Democracy Ready
The Importance of Discussing Controversial Issues in the Classroom

DemocracyReady NY Coalition, composed of statewide education and civic organizations, and parents, students, teachers, administrators, school board members, and other education stakeholders from every corner of New York State, has released The Importance of Discussing Controversial Issues in the Classroom—Especially Today, a white paper specifically endorsing and justifying instruction in controversial subjects, as well as offering recommended policy guidelines to support educators and help parents and students understand the importance of student discussions of controversial issues. It also includes resources from Paula McAvoy, Diana Hess, and other top experts in the field of civic education and addressing controversial subjects with students.

Add this important work to your summer reading list!
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!
My Voice is Louder Than Hate

My Voice is Louder Than Hate is a multimedia lesson resource designed to empower students in grades 9-12 to push back against hate and prejudice in their online communities. Over the course of this program, students will: learn how to push back when they encounter hate or prejudice online; develop digital and media literacy skills to recognize and confront hate material online; and prepare to take action as digital citizens by taking an active role in forming the norms and values of their offline communities and using digital and media tools for civic action online and offline.

This program consists of four elements: an online multimedia platform that includes learning resources, practice scenarios, and tools for media-making; two lessons that use the different features of the multimedia platform to educate and empower students to respond to hate and prejudice online; a training workshop to prepare teachers to deliver these lessons; and a teacher’s guide, which provides teachers with background information and resources to use in implementing the program.

New Research on Student Voice and Academic Achievement

The study identified three pathways by which responsiveness to student voice could be beneficial to student outcomes:
  • at the school level, attentiveness to students’ concerns may improve the way the school is organized and run.
  • at the classroom level, teachers can be responsive to students’ by adapting their curricula and instruction in response to students’ feedback.
  • at the student level, an environment that is responsive to student voice may lead young people to develop a greater sense of agency, of belonging to the school community, and of competence.

The study findings include:
  • Students in schools where their teachers and school leaders were seen as being responsive to students’ concerns tended to have better academic outcomes than their peers in schools that were seen as being less responsive.
  • Specifically, a school’s responsiveness to student voice is associated with higher GPAs, higher attendance rates, and fewer chronically absent students.

Global Onramp to Media Literacy

The Center for Media Literacy (CML) is proud to offer its new, free, all-online introductory course: The Global Onramp to Media Literacy. This course is now available in English, Spanish, and Lithuanian, with Chinese, simple Chinese, Malay, Latvian, and Estonian forthcoming.

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.

CIRCLE is hosting a virtual forum on June 14th from 1:00-2:30 p.m. to highlight the publication of CIRCLE Growing Voters. CIRCLE will present an overview of the research in the report, feature a panel of young voters, and hear from experts in various fields about how they're working to put the principles of CIRCLE Growing Voters into practice. You can register for the event at this link.

Two of CIRCLE's latest reports are useful for understanding the challenges and opportunities for engaging our youngest citizens in civic life amid the upcoming midterm elections.
  • Impact of Voting Laws on Youth Participation: The election laws and policies in a given state can have a major impact on how easy it is for young people to register and cast a ballot. Our summary of existing research and new CIRCLE analyses examine what we know about the impact of policies like pre-registration, same-day registration, online voter registration, and no-excuse mail-in voting on youth turnout and registration in recent elections.
  • Climate Change and Youth Civic Engagement: As part of ongoing research with our partners at Action for the Climate Emergency, we're studying the connections between youth concern and action on the environment and political participation. Our initial findings highlight that climate change is a top issue for youth and that those who prioritize it score higher on civic readiness, which suggests fruitful pathways for youth outreach and engagement.

Summer Learning Opportunities from Blissful Coding Club

Blissful Coding Club (BCC), teaches coding skills to kids from grades 2-12. BCC has provided access to coding skills to over 25,000 kids in USA and across 7 countries in less than year. BCC has partnered with and is supported by American Library Association (ala.org), School Library Journal (slj.com), Youth Division Young Adult Library Services (YALSA.org), local libraries, military and veteran organizations, Girls Inc., Boys and Girls club of America, United Way Worldwide and many more.

The Blissful Coding Club virtual computer science and Personal Finance classes are free of charge to students to ensure this opportunity for any student who wishes to learn. BCC is constantly growing their curriculums and has quadrupled the number of programs since their inception.

This summer, learning opportunities include:
  • Free Workshops on MetaVerse and Quantum Computing for the Younger Population: Exciting talks on Metaverse, Classical Cryptography, and Quantum Cryptography are planned for this summer. Learn more
  • Pitch Competition: Grades 6-12: This summer, Blissful Coding Club collaborates with Microsoft TEALS and Carnegie Mellon University's Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Association to host a virtual pitch competition for groups of middle and high school students. Students will be pitching (not developing) technological products that address a social issue or introduce a new business opportunity. No prior knowledge is needed. Prizes will be awarded to winners. Learn more.
  • Call for Entries Summer 2022: Submit any form of writing or art reflecting our history or heritage. Topics can include political, social, cultural, or technological events from any part of the world relating to your heritage. Or, share your rich heritage via topics that include culture, values, ethnic backgrounds, etc. ​All papers related to schoolwork and this theme are welcome. Learn more.

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.
Summer Reading Recommendations
Summer is a time for many of us to relax, reflect, and recalibrate after a demanding school year. Reading for pleasure or for your own professional development is a welcome respite for many educators. We asked some of our regional civics instructional coaches for their reading 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): Why Learn History (When it’s Already on Your Phone)? by Sam Wineburg. It is possible that Sam Wineburg has done more thinking about how people think in history classes than anyone else. This book looks at all the information (and misinformation) at our fingertips and addresses what that means for those of us trying to teach in this environment.

All of the Marvels by Douglas Wolk. Marvel Comics has created the longest continuous, self-contained work of fiction ever created, and the half-million-page volume continues to grow. This book includes the stories of nearly 20 percent of the 100 highest-grossing films of all time. The book is a fun look at its connectivity–and there’s a lot there to connect.

Tracy Freeman (Livingston, McClean, Ford, Champaign, Vermilion, Piatt, Macon, Dewitt, and Logan Counties): Active Liberty by Stephen Breyer.
A very brief and engaging book about the idea of a Living Constitution. Although he will never replace the spot RBG has in my heart, this is an easy read with a perspective that I fear is disappearing on the Court.

I also recommend All That she Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake by Tiya Miles. This book tells the unbelievable story and struggle of telling the history of women, specifically black women. The story of tracking family lineage and the unbelievable things we keep to tell our history (quilting and sewing, for example) are heartfelt and empowering.

Heather Monson (Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Carroll, Ogle, Lee, Whiteside, Bureau, Henry, Stark, and Rock Island Counties): The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt. Why can’t our political leaders work together as threats loom and problems mount? Why do people so readily assume the worst about the motives of their fellow citizens? In The Righteous Mind, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores the origins of our divisions and points the way forward to mutual understanding.

Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty by Anderson Cooper. A completely utterly fascinating look at one of the iconic families that built the Gilded Age. A great accompaniment to HBO's The Gilded Age series.

M.J. Warden (North Cook, Lake, McHenry, Boone, and Winnebago Counties): Making Thinking Visible by Ron Ritchhart, Ed.D.; Mark Church; and Karin Morrison offers research-based solutions for creating cultures of thinking in your classroom. Based on the work of Harvard’s Project Zero, this book does a deep dive into practical ways of creating thinking routines that will bring the power of visible thinking to life.

Matt Wood (West Cook, DuPage, Kane, and DeKalb Counties)- The Most Dangerous Branch: Inside the Supreme Court’s Assault on the Constitution by David A. Kaplan. This book takes readers inside the secret world of the Supreme Court. David A. Kaplan, the former legal affairs editor of Newsweek, shows how the justices subvert the role of the other branches of government--and how we've come to accept it at our peril. With the court stepping fully into the political spotlight this spring, many of the issues the court is having with the leak stem from internal strife within this branch. Great book for gaining some depth on who the court is and why that matters.

The Constitution of Knowledge: A Defense of Truth by Jonathan Rauch. In this pathbreaking book, Jonathan Rauch reaches back to the parallel eighteenth-century developments of liberal democracy and science to explain what he calls the "Constitution of Knowledge"-our social system for turning disagreement into truth. Fascinating look at how inquiry into what we define as “truth” has played a role in American politics and how the Constitution was born out of the age of Enlightenment.

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.