Does your class deal with controversial topics? If yes, how do you deal with these issues? What issues and modes of action peak student interest the most?
The Teaching Methods for Civic Engagement
Describe your pedagogy, evaluation and other procedures for teaching civics (i.e. example of a lesson)? Do students receive direct instruction, apprenticeship and role modeling for civics?
Is public service a critical part of school life (student government, political campaigns, volunteerism)?
Where else, beyond school, do students learn civic engagement? Are family, community and social organizations incorporated into civics education within schools?
How do you make citizenship relevant? How can we bring experience and expertise to youth’s passions?
Do the codes of conduct for students in schools inhibit conflict, debate and disagreement within the classroom? What teaching methods do you think can enable respectful disagreement while still abiding by institutional rules behaviour?
Are there teaching methods you cannot incorporate practically into the classroom but would ideally like to see for civics learning?
School Policies and Practices for Democratic Citizenship
Do you think the school, the board and the government prioritize civics education? What are the accountability measures that make sure civics is an important goal?
What kinds of activities and events are organized to increase students’ political interest? Has the school community taken collective action around a common issue of importance? Have you heard of such projects in schools?
Are there deliberate efforts to engage students who might otherwise be disengaged from civic participation both inside and outside of the school?
Are there professional development opportunities or rewards for teachers in civics?
Does the faculty at the school have democratic forums? How do teachers engage in the decision-making of the school?
Do adults in the school community model democratic dialogue regarding controversial issues (i.e. school meetings)? Can you give a recent example of dialogue among school community members? Do you think the regulations and decisions of the school are open and transparent to students, teachers, and the community?
What does a democratic school look like? What reforms would you like to see regarding civics in the curriculum, extra-curricular areas, and the governance of the school?