What We’re Reading | July 31st, 2018

Our favorite articles from recent weeks

Every few weeks, GC picks out a selection of articles that are relevant to our work and to the civics education space as a whole. We at GC love to expand our learning in every aspect of what we do, and we hope you enjoy our selections!


How social studies can help young kids make sense of the world, The Hechinger Report

In this piece, Sarah Gosner discusses how educators are addressing sensitive cultural issues with students in the classroom. As the time allotted to teaching social studies continues to decline, Gosner emphasizes the necessity for teachers to be given proper training on how to successfully facilitate important conversations surrounding issues like race, religion, and cultural differences, as well as what teachers do on their own when that training is not provided.


Transcript: Obama’s Speech At The 2018 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, NPR

President Barack Obama visited South Africa in mid-July for the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture and delivered a speech commemorating what would have been Mandela’s 100th birthday. Focusing on the long-term prospects of democracy, President Obama discussed the history of social movements and political change that have shaped the world we live in today.


What Your State Is Doing To Beef Up Civics Education, NPR

This piece discusses the growing movement pushing for schools to implement a more comprehensive and hands-on civics education curriculum in the classroom. More than half of all the states have considered bills proposing the expansion of civics education in the last legislative session. With legislative changes happening all around us, this article is a great resource for learning about steps being taken in your state to foster a more engaged citizenry, starting with our youngest generations.


The Teen-Agers Fighting for Climate Justice, The New Yorker

This article highlights a recent march in Manhattan consisting of young leaders advocating for climate justice. The participants represented a movement called Zero Hour, started last year by teenagers. Sharing the voices and opinions of young leaders at the march, some of whom are also advocating for bills lowering the voting age in local elections to 16, this piece documents the growing trend of youth involvement in the political process.


CityViews: Black, Female and Neglected, 19th-Century Hero Became Students’ Cause, CityLimits.org

This article highlights the work of a Generation Citizen class from the Urban Assembly Institute of Math and Science for Young Women in New York. On a walk around downtown Brooklyn, the class found a statue of white abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher with freed slave children at his feet in Columbus Park. Despite her important influence in the area, there was no remembrance of Elizabeth Glouster. Glouster was a freed slave and is arguably the richest black woman to have ever lived in the United States. Striving to improve representation in the area, this class continues to advocate for remembering Glouster in their community.