The good news is that every state of the United States requires "civics education." The bad news is that it obviously sucks. Don't you think it's time to start over? We can't fall in love with whatever familiar, safe curriculum we're "teaching." Because if it was any good the results wouldn't be so bad. 42% of eligible voters - over 90 million "adult" Americans - didn't vote in the 2016 election. Vote! In the 2016 election! And if that election didn't engage, will any election? Ever? Not if we keep exposing kids the same old sh*t. We're obviously not making an impact. We're like a basketball coach who can't even motivate her players to shoot the ball. Never mind the tough stuff like getting
What Should We Talk About?
My favorite part of teaching was sharing evocative passages, affecting scenes, meaningful lyrics and innovative ideas with my students. We’d read, watch and listen to them, then think, talk and write about them.
It kept me from the curriculum. But then I’d think, Why isn’t this the curriculum? This is what kids need to learn! For example, after watching the scene where Tom Hanks scolds Geena Davis in A League of Their Own,
“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great!”
I’d share it with students and explain why I showed it to them. And now I’m sharing passages, scenes, lyrics and ideas with you with the goal of getting a thought-provoking, life-enhancing conversations started.