Civics Education Interviews
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Civics Education Interviews
Jason Artman discusses how Civics Education was being taught at Mendota High School prior to the state of Illinois's new civics requirement, and adjustments that were made since its adoption. He also reviews his role in training high school civics teachers, giving insights on ways to teach civics and develop service projects, deal with controversial topics, and present additional teaching resources that can be used in the classroom. Jason also gives an overview of the new state social studies standards.
Dr. John Bickford, a member of the Education faculty at Eastern Illinois University, discusses the preparation of elementary and middle school teachers using Illinois's new social studies standards, in particular, for civics education. He also explains the classroom experiences for those entering the teaching field, the importance of news literacy/current events, and the use of primary sources when teaching civic and other social studies classes.
Brian Brady discusses how the Mikva Challenge, created in 1998 by Judge Abner and Zoe Mikva, has encouraged youth from under-resourced neighborhoods to become involved in civic activities. This organization was active in supporting the movement to create Illinois's Civics High School requirement. Now located in twelve sites nationwide, the Mikva Challenge provides in-school support services to middle and high schools, promotes community action projects, assists the development of citywide youth councils, generates civics curricula and holds elections in Mikva Action Civics programs. Project Soapbox was also explained as a way to develop Action Civics.
Christopher Busse, a teacher at O‘Fallon Township High School, discusses how civics education is being taught at a large Metro East high school. He talks about Illinois's new social studies standards, the process of becoming a Democracy School, and the interdisciplinary approach he takes in teaching civics. Busse also discusses the training provided to area teachers on how to teach civics, which includes media literacy, controversial subjects and the use of service projects. He reviews the course content for freshmen civics, senior government, and the resources available for the teachers.
Department of Education director discusses civics education for teachers
Dr. Kristine Condon discusses the Illinois Civics Academy for Secondary Teachers (ICAT) which began in 2016 at Kankakee Community College (KCC). The training includes twenty-four hours of training for high school teachers and eight hours for K-8 teachers (ICAT Jr.) Condon also covers KCC’s Paralegal Program, Illinois's social studies standards, College/Career/Civic Life (C-3), and the Illinois Judicial Program,
Mary Ellen Daneels has taught social studies and history courses at Chicago West high School since 1990, using an innovative approach to civics education that the state modeled when mandating that civics education be taught for all public high schools in legislation that took effect with the class of 2016-2017. Because of her expertise, Daneels also became a lead teacher trainer. She highlights the training provided over a three year period to civics teachers throughout the state.
Dr. Andrea Guzman discusses her work to prepare future journalists in a world where technology is constantly changing. She examines the impact of social media, artificial intelligence, automated journalism, media framing of technology, news applications and the impact of bots on journalism. She also reviews the ethical challenges in journalism today. Guzman talks about her own experiences and her growing interest in the role of technology in today’s journalism. Finally, she reviews the course work at Northern Illinois University, the challenges of cultivating media literacy, and the role of journalism in civics education at the secondary school level.
Shawn Healy discusses his involvement in the passage and the implementation of a state of Illinois mandate requiring a semester of civics education for high school students. House Bill 2045 became a law in 2015 and was implemented with the freshman class of 2016-2017. Healy also discusses how schools incorporate the subject, either as a stand alone course or incorporated into existing courses such as government, US history, or American Problems. He also covered the course requirements and the three year professional growth cycle for Illinois Social Studies teachers.
Dr. Stephen Hunt taught at Illinois State University School of Communication, and served as its executive director after 2016. Following passage of legislation requiring civics be taught in Illinois high schools, ISU worked with other state universities to create teams that assisted high school teachers with civics education. Dr. Hunt also talked about reliable sources for fact-checking of news articles along with academic freedom issues.
Judge Michael Kick discusses the civics education programs at Kankakee Community College, especially the Illinois Civics Academy for Secondary Teachers (ICAT), the ICAT-Jr. Edition (K-8), and the Illinois Judges Association's "Lincoln’s Hat" program. Judge Kick also talks about the structure of the Illinois Circuit and Supreme Court, and reflects on why the judicial branch at both the state and national level is the least discussed branch of government.
Professor Bryan Murley of Eastern Illinois University discusses his role in teaching future journalists about the rapidly changing media world. Murley talks at length about his journalistic ethics course, and on a course entitled 'News Information, and Media Literacy,' especially from the perspective of newspaper reporting. He also examines the many challenges found in journalism today, including identifying and combating bias and advocacy journalism.
Jamie Nash-Mayberry discusses how Civics Education has been implemented at Shawnee High School, a small high school in Southern Illinois. She reviews several service projects the students have undertaken, including the Veteran's Wall and the school's 10-year Mississippi River Levee project. She also provided an overview of the new state social studies standards and how Shawnee High School became a Democracy School.
Dave Porter is a life-long journalist and publisher who discusses his involvement in the Governor’s Civics Education Task Force, representing the perspective of Illinois media. He covers the structure of the Task Force, its recommendations to the governor and the legislature, and the result of their efforts as reflected in the state's new civics legislation. Porter also talks about the state of journalism in our contemporary society where social media and the Internet increasingly dominate the scene.
Dr. Aubrey Southall discusses how Aurora University prepares students in the field of social studies education, the amount of hours spent in pre-teaching and student teaching experiences, and how Aurora University’s secondary education department has grown. She reviews how the University prepares students to teach social studies and civics, including service projects, and how to deal with controversial topics. She also emphasizes bilingual education, and discusses student diversity, the new Illinois Social Studies Standards, and university-school district partnerships.
Michael Spikes discusses how the Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University (New York) became involved with the training of civics teachers around the state of Illinois as part of the professional training component of Illinois's new Civics Law. Michael talks about the curriculum used, what teachers and students should be looking for when analyzing news, and how to critically consume information with the ultimate goal of becoming more informed and engaged as citizens. This news literacy training took place over a five year period. Spikes also reviews other news projects, including Friendship News, Youth Voices, and Know Your Neighborhood.
Stacey Steiner discusses how civics education is being taught at Carlinville High School, a smaller high school located in south central Illinois. Steiner reviews the new Illinois Social Standards, the process to becoming a Democracy School, and the interdisciplinary approach in teaching, which includes civics education taught through class service projects.
A high school social studies teacher discusses civics education
Illinois Civics Task Force members discusses new IL program
History/Social Studies Teaching Coordinator at Eastern Illinois University