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Political Literacy – What it is and why we should teach it.

What is political literacy? Political literacy means having the basic skills, understandings, and attitudes required to take an active and well educated role in a democratic society.  Why should schools teach political literacy. In a world with so many problems in need of political solutions we need citizens who are capable of filtering through all of…


Rethinking Politics in the Classroom by Daniel Judt

This was an excellent article written by the son of Tony Judt in The Nation.  The article is no longer available on The Nation’s website, but I was able to resurrect the article by finding a cached version of the page.  (Note: the link to the article on The Nation’s website now appears to be working)…


Great Framework for Creating Engaging Student Work

  Qualities of Engaging Student Work A critical factor for improving learning lies in providing high-quality work for students- work that engages students, work that enables students to learn what they need in order to succeed in the world. The traits of engaging student work listed below evolved from Dr. Phillip Schlechty’s book, Working on…


To Engage or Empower?

I recently came across a blog post asking the question – Should we be engaging or empowering students?  I’ll be sharing this with my students as an example of a false dichotomy or the ‘either-or logical fallacy.’  These goals need not be mutually exclusive and the best answer may be somewhere in the middle.  While I…


Heeding Dworkin’s Call for Contemporary Politics in U.S. Classrooms

The following is an excerpt from an article entitled “Three Questions for America“, written by the late Ronald Dworkin.  The excerpt helps explain the purpose of this blog, which is to promote the collaborative development of a new school civics course that helps all students develop the necessary knowledge, skills, and dispositions required to take…

Argument Map

Climate Change Argument Map

Demonstration of Proficiency: Critical Literacy (CL2: Analysis)  Why are we learning this?   Being able to break down and identify the main arguments of a text is not something you need to learn just for school.  Finding bias, incorrect information, and main arguments is a life skill. Procedure for Text Mark-Up and Argument Mapping Identify…


Freedom Riders – Great Video on Civil Rights Era

ABOUT THE FILM FREEDOM RIDERS is the powerful harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever. From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives—and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment—for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the…


Do the Math – New Film on Climate Change

Like most people, Bill (environmentalist and co-founder of, is not an activist by nature. There’s really not that many people whose greatest desire it to go out and fight the system. His theory of change was that he’ll write his book, people will read it and they’ll change. But that’s not how change happens….

44 - Vermont Statehouse At Night-S

Vermont Washington County District 7 House of Representatives Election

Who are the two candidates you would vote for and why? Please write a brief post on your personal blog. Maxine Grad (I) Adam Greshin (D) No website found Ed Read (I) No website found Heidi Spear (I) Photo Credit:


Make Fire, Spread Fire

This is a video I made a few years ago to illustrate my beliefs about 21st century skills.  In my opinion, it’s not just about teaching the latest digital technologies – it’s also about teaching some of the most time honored skills.  It’s about teaching our students how to make a fire with their bare…


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