A couple weeks ago, I facilitated a PD workshop at the NJEA Convention. I was teaching a group of mostly high school social studies teachers about the resources that C-SPAN offers for them to incorporate civics into their classes. I modeled a C-SPAN lesson about a controversial issue (gun control), and the participants experienced it more or less exactly like the students would. At the end, they even participated in a mock Congressional hearing as a summative activity. The first time I presented this workshop several years ago, I did a lot more talking - trying to cover all of the resources that C-SPAN offers. But I found over time that participants enjoyed it much more - and learned more - by just experiencing it. So now I keep the talking part to a minimum (10 minutes up front, 5 minutes on the back-end), and the bulk of a 90 minute workshop is devoted to the participants actually doing something.

Tags: C-SPAN, Civics, Video, Workshop

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