Author: Brian


The Civic Pledge: Moving Beyond Politics, Civics Is Also Character Education

A forum with candidates for NJ Governor and the Citizens Campaign.

The Citizens Campaign is a non-profit that empowers citizens to be civic leaders in their community. One part of their programming is the civic trust – a group of community members who regularly meet to discuss issues facing their community and craft solutions to present to the appropriate stakeholders. Prior to joining the civic trust, […]

Professional Development

Learn to Use C-SPAN in the Classroom at NJEA’s Early Career Educator Conference

Rep. John Lewis giving a floor speech on the House floor with other Representatives standing behind him.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, the NJEA Early Career Educator Conference has been canceled. Therefore, my session on C-SPAN has also unfortunately been canceled. However, I am presenting a similar session at the NJEA Convention in Atlantic City on Friday, November 10 at 1pm in Room 320. Information about the convention, including hotel accomodations […]

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Use Themes and Essential Questions to Make Social Studies More Civics Oriented

Pile of old books with one in focus and the rest blurred.

Part of the reason we’re so bad at teaching civics is curriculum – and for two reasons. When it comes to social studies, we try to teach way too much history and we almost always insist on organizing it chronologically. The two problems are self-reinforcing. When you orient the entire curriculum around time periods, you […]


Read the Word or Read the World?

Quote by Paulo Freire: "Education is the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.

It was way back in college when I first read Paulo Freire’s book, the Pedagogy of the Oppressed, but one idea has stuck with me since then: the distinction between reading the word and reading the world. As an educational system today, what is our focus – the former or the latter? Paulo Freire and […]