Teachers learning together at a session during the NJEA Convention

Free Workshop on Solutions Civics Curriculum at the NJEA Convention

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On Friday, November 10, I’ll be facilitating a professional development workshop on C-SPAN’s Classroom Deliberations at the NJEA Convention. But that won’t be the only presentation in Atlantic City that should appeal to civic educators.

The Citizen’s Campaign is a non profit in New Jersey whose mission is to empower citizens to take a greater role in their communities. They help community members self-organize into groups called “civic trusts,” train them on how to develop policy proposals, and then support them as they bring ideas before the local governing bodies.

Solutions Civics is a civic education curriculum designed by the Citizen’s Campaign that can be incorporated into your social studies class.

What Is Solutions Civics?

Solutions Civics is a series of lessons and a set of resources designed to help you teach your students civics from a local government perspective.

Throughout the course, students will learn about the structure of local government, the various power centers in communities, the role of political parties, and the policy making process. They’ll learn how to request information from the government through an OPRA request and how to devise a no-blame solution to a problem.

If taken to completion, the course will walk the students through the process of identifying a problem, examining potential solutions, and then pitching one of those solutions to local stakeholders like the city council. If you’re interested in teaching this in your class, the Citizen’s Campaign can provide you with resources, including the Citizen’s Manual (a brief text about local government and policy) and a series of videos explaining key concepts.

This is another great example of project based learning in civics. Like Project Citizen and Youth Participatory Action Research, Solutions Civics is built on the idea of putting civics in action. It gives students an opportunity to apply what they learn and actually improve their community.

The unique aspect of Solutions Civics is its focus on local government and the insight students gain into how things actually get done behind the scenes.

Details About the Workshop at the NJEA Convention

Description and details about the Solutions Civics professional development workshop at the NJEA ConventionThe NJEA Convention is Thursday, November 9 and Friday, November 10 in Atlantic City. This workshop, “Solutions Civics: Preparing for 21st Century Citizenship” will be on Thursday from 1:30pm to 3:00pm in Room B317.

From the NJEA Convention program:

The subject matter of our presentation, Solutions Civics, is about preparing high school students to become problem-solvers in their local communities and thereby active participants in our 21st century democracy.

The workshop will be presented by Harry Pozycki, the Chairman and Founder of the Citizens Campaign, and Ellen Clarkson. I’ll be there as well, assisting with facilitating the session.

More details about the NJEA Convention, including a full schedule and options for lodging, can be found here. Hope to see you there.

If you can’t make it down to the Convention, check back here in a week or two. I’ll be writing up a full post on Solutions Civics and how you can implement it in your class.

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