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Civics Education Offerings

As youth today consume media and become involved in civic affairs within our ever-changing globally-interconnected society, they must acquire the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be active participants in our democratic society. Primary Source is working to prepare students and their teachers for 21st century citizenship. We are launching new initiatives that build upon three decades of work in the realm of global citizenship and cultural competency to advance cultural responsiveness, global competency, and civic-mindedness in schools.

Why are we doing this now?

A systemic lack of prioritizing social studies, history, and civics nationwide has led to significant knowledge gaps in these critical subject matters. The ripple effect of this is evident in our polarized political environment, and growing incidents of hatred and xenophobia. Primary Source is committed to reversing this trend. Massachusetts, recognizing this profound education challenge, has implemented a new curriculum framework in history and the social sciences, and Primary Source has responded to add new programming to meet K-12 teachers ’ and students’ in these critical areas. Please contact civics@primarysource.org with any questions.

Democracy Lab: 8th Grade Civics for the 21st Century

Two leading civics organizations, Primary Source and Generation Citizen, combine forces to bring you Democracy Lab! This three-year innovative and comprehensive approach to civic learning, fully aligned with the 2018 Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework, is designed to meet thegrowing needs of individual teachers. Whether designing an entirely new civics course or updating an existing one, teachers can turn to Democracy Lab for professional development and curricular cornerstones to civic success. More information here.

Straight from the Source

As teachers strive to build students’ skills in understanding and analyzing informational texts – a key feature of the 2018 Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for ELA and Literacy – the need to introduce historical sources to elementary students has become more urgent. Straight from the Source is a collection of 30 exercises in the close reading of informational texts that provides teachers with high-quality materials and guidance to significantly advance students’ capacities. More information here.

Cornerstones for Civic Engagement

Cornerstones for Civic Engagement is a series of 12 curriculum units with corresponding professional development modules that cultivates civic skills and dispositions in students.

All units provide:
Culturally responsive and grade-appropriate sources and student materials
Content that integrates with social studies and literacy instruction

Click here for more information.

Building Blocks for Global Citizenship: Self-paced or Guided Cohort

Not sure where to start? Our set of six online modules will help you build a foundation for global awareness and provide concrete examples and strategies for supporting cultural competence in your classroom and school community. Each one-hour module - taken anytime at your own pace and on your own schedule - addresses key concepts and themes for global learning. These modules are the perfect starting point for individual educators or for the entire school or district! More information here.

Voting Rights: Professional Development

With the support of MassHumanities we are excited to announce a new professional development series, Our Rights and Nothing Less: Struggles to Secure the Vote in the United States. We are developing two new opportunities to offer this fall! We will run one virtual session of "The Non-Linear History of U.S. Voting Rights" examining historical struggles and social movements to gain access to voting rights. The second opportunity is a three-session webinar series entitled, "Connecting Past and Present in Matters of Voting," discussing themes of voting rights focusing on the 2020 U.S. election. More information about these opportunities will be announced with the rest of our fall programming in early September.

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(617) 923-9933

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