Academic Freedom and Teaching Controversial Issues

Academic Freedom and Teaching Controversial Issues

Classroom Strategies for Building Active Listening Skills Arlene Gardner Executive Director New Jersey Center for Civic Education Rutgers, The State University Piscataway, NJ 848-445-3413 http://civiced.rutgers.edu Classroom Strategies Continuum/take a stand Active Listening/Civil Conversations C3 Inquiries Guided discussions Socratic smackdown Moot courtsstructured format for considering constitutional issues

Debates Philosophical Chairs discussion Legislative hearingsstructured format for debating and considering solutions to problems Take a Stand/Continuum Select a controversial topicimmigration Phrase either/or question: Those who think the 11 million undocumented or illegal immigrants should be given a path to citizenship stand to the right Those who think they should not stand to the left

Those who are not sure stand in the middle Ask those at either ends to explain WHY they take their positionno rebuttals, only explaining and listening Have people move to better reflect a continuum of views Ask each person who was unsure if what they heard helped them decide to move one way or the other and ask them to move to the appropriate spot Ask others if they changed their views based on what they heard and ask them to move to the appropriate spot Value: explaining, listening, reflecting and changing views Consider a little research Sources Teaching ToleranceTen Myths about Immigration http://www.tolerance.org/immigration-myths Federal Reserve Bank report, The Effect of Immigrants on U.S. Employment and productivity, http://www.frbsf.org/economic-research/publications/econo mic-letter/2010/august/effect-immigrants-us-employment-p roductivity/

Pro-immigration: Anti-immigration: American Immigration Council https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org Americans for Immigration Control, Inc. (AIC) http://www.immigrationcontrol.com/ Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) http://www.fairus.org/about Ask for opinions againwhat changed your mind? Active Listening/Civil Conversations Select a controversial issuegun control

Place 4-6 chairs in front of the classroom Forms teams of two, three or four people First person states viewpoint and briefly explains why No one interrupts Opposite side takes turn making argument Before person across from him or her can respond, must in some way restate his or her understanding of what has been said. Compare your views with the candidates views

Trump position papers: https://www.donaldjtrump.com/POSITIO NS Clinton position papers: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/ Criteria Category Issue 1: Points Issue 2: Points Issue 3: Points Candidate 1 Candidate 2 Position: Position: Sources:

Sources: Position: Position: Sources: Sources: Position: Position: Sources: Sources: Sources: Sources: Sources: Sources: Qualifications Points

Character Traits Points Candidate Criteria Chart Establish a range of points for each criterion: 1-10 (low to high) Use the scale of 1 to 10 to measure the candidates positions as compared to: American values your own views on the issue How realistic it is The cost Add other criteria that you think are important Measure the candidates qualifications in terms of relevant

experience, skills, dedication, public service Measure the candidates character by selecting positive character traits, such as composure, flexibility, and resolve The Candidate Criteria Chart is adapted from an article by Brett L.M. Levy, in the Sept. 2016 edition of NJCCs Social Education Socratic Smackdown A discussion set up as a game with points. Teams of 4-6 students discuss texts and use textual evidence to make connections and ask thought-provoking questions. Student will points whenever they make constructive contributions to the discussion and lose points if they exhibit disrespectful behaviors, such as interrupting their teammates. By the end of game play, students have learned how to work together as teams and a class and contribute meaningfully to a discussion. http://www.instituteofplay.org/work/projects/printplay-games-2/socratic-smackdown/ C3 Inquiries

Dimension 1: Developing Questions and Planning Inquiries Dimension 2: Applying Disciplinary Tools and Concepts Dimension 3: Evaluating Sources and Using Evidence Dimension 4: Communicating Conclusions and Taking Informed Action Developing Compelling and Supporting Questions Civics

Gathering (research) and Evaluating Sources Communicating and Critiquing Conclusions Planning Inquiries Economics Geography History Developing Claims and Using Evidence Taking Informed Action C3 Inquiry regarding the presidential election 1. Compelling question: Whose views are more consistent with American values?

2. Apply disciplinary tools and concepts regarding American values 3. Researchevaluate sources and use evidence 4. Communicating conclusions and taking action (voting!) Questions? Comments? Will send Powerpoint Will send Survey with pd certificate

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