Developing educated, informed, and engaged citizens.

Concept Map

Definition

Opportunities for students to participate in role-playing, problem solving, interactive case studies, and online games which invoke civic learning and engagement

Evidence

  • Student reflections on Constitution Day and Local Government Day
  • Curriculum maps from various academic departments
  • Student clubs/organizations which encourage role-playing such as Student Government or drama club
  • Student government agendas and minutes

Examples

  • Mock trials
  • Constitutional Convention
  • "You be the Judge"
  • Legislative forum
  • Curriculums such as Choices Program from Brown University and we.org
  • Model United Nations
  • Online civic learning games through iCivics
  • Henrietta Lacks mock trial in Science class
  • Eva Peron mock trial in World Language class
  • "Design Your School" — budgeting, board meeting
  • Labor simulations from DePaul University
  • Ethical dilemmas

Connections to Principles of "Lived Civics"

  • Activities in courses and clubs/ organizations speak to students’ lived experiences and identities
  • Discussions of power and privilege are intentionally woven into role-playing and case studies
  • Discussion circles to reflect on simulations are safe spaces where all voices are encouraged to be heard
  • Simulations task students with making connections of the activity to their local community or larger societies

Case Study

Round Lake High School students are offered the opportunity to partake in a variety of democratic simulations. There are obvious opportunities for simulations ingrained into the curriculum of their government courses. These include mock congressional debates, bill hearings, and jury deliberations. However, these democratic simulations are not limited to the social sciences. Ninth grade students are also exposed to jury deliberations and discussions on race relations through the acting out of Twelve Angry Men. Furthermore, the entire school participates in an annual mock election through partnerships with the Lake County Board of Elections and the League of Women Voters, who are both partners they have worked with in previous years.

Additionally, as part of keeping true to the Democracy School mission, the school has created another democratic simulation that incorporates student voice. The Panther Action Congress is a truly representative student government with reserved spots for students from all levels, including English language learners and students with IEPs. In order to be as inclusive as possible, supports for students are provided as needed and all of the meetings times take place during the school day as a means of allowing all to participate.