During the past year, the Capitol riot, vulnerabilities revealed by the coronavirus pandemic, and renewed calls for racial justice have vividly shown that trust in our nation’s democratic institutions and values has worn thin. The fabric of our democracy is clearly in need of repair. Teaching civic readiness in K-12 education is key.
The New York State constitution requires schools to prepare all students to be effective civic participants. The final webinar in our series is a chance to engage in dialogue with education leaders and decision-makers about how to make the right to preparation for civic participation a reality. Tune in to ask questions and get answers about how to bring media literacy, discussion of controversial issues, opportunities for youth civic action, and other important elements of civic readiness into every school in the state.
The future of this nation is in the hands of our youth. Their success requires our support. We must have faith in their ability to take actionable steps and make real change. This webinar will highlight youth voices as they illustrate the powerful civic action that New York students have been engaging with, as well as encourage educational stakeholders to advocate for equitable civic preparation.
To be prepared for civic life, students must learn to engage in productive conversations with people who hold positions different from their own. In this era of political polarization, teaching controversial issues is both more important and more difficult than ever. This webinar will explore the challenges of taking on contentious current issues in the classroom—including educators’ fear of pushback from parents and administrators. Panelists will discuss promising strategies to ensure teachers are prepared and supported in all schools and districts. And they will consider actions parents, students, educators, and policymakers can take to ensure these important civic learning opportunities are available to all New York students.
In the digital age, young people and adults alike must negotiate an online information landscape where it is difficult to tell fact from fiction. Events taking place in Washington DC on January 6 and the global pandemic underscore the urgency of preparing students to understand, critique and create media as part of civic readiness. This webinar will cover the essential components of media literacy education and provide resources to equip education stakeholders to implement high-quality media literacy education today, as well as to advocate for equitable access to media literacy education across all New York schools.
Developing Digital Citizens: Media Literacy Education for All Students, a new report from DemocracyReady NY, calls for immediate and decisive steps to require media literacy education in schools throughout New York State. Stressing that “the internet has become the new public square,” it asserts that “to be democracy ready, all students must be media literate.” The report defines what media literacy encompasses in an increasingly digital age, and establishes a clear framework to ensure that all students become media literate civic participants.
Please click here to download full report.
DemocracyReady NY is a statewide, nonpartisan, intergenerational coalition of organizations and individuals committed to preparing all students for civic participation.
Organizations (in formation)
Jason Clark, Metropolitan Black Bar Association
Shira Epstein, The City College of New York
Brett Levy, University at Albany, SUNY
Ioana Literat, Teachers College, Columbia University
Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, Teachers College, Columbia University
Laura Smith, Teachers College, Columbia University
Michael A. Rebell, Executive Director and Professor of Law and Educational Practice
Jessica R. Wolff, Director of Policy and Research