Don Gifford is the Education Program Consultant for Social Studies for the Kansas State Department of Education .
The events of March 14th created a sense of excitement around civic engagement. The tragedy of the Parkland shooting coupled with other school shootings inspired students to action. So when the very inspirational student leaders of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School called for a national school walk out on March 14th, I could hardly wait to see how it manifested itself here. I happened to be traveling around the state talking with school administrators March 13th thru the 15th. I soon realized that some schools were going to miss a great opportunity to champion civic engagement in their schools. Continue reading March 14th: How Schools Missed The Opportunity To Champion Civic Engagement→
January 27th marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. In 2005, the United Nations established International Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorating the tragedy of the Holocaust that occurred during the Second World War.
And while you may not be teaching a class that specifically focuses on the events of 1941-1945 as well as earlier discrimination and persecution under the Nazi government, it does provide a chance to connect those events to similar genocides both past and present. And to other acts of discrimination and persecution happening around the world and in the United States.
By remembering the Holocaust, we can honor survivors and challenge ourselves to use the lessons of their experience to inform our lives today.
There are many resources available. You might start with these:
Greetings, my fellow Kansans! With any luck the year has settled in for you. It has been a beautiful beginning, and the kids are just as wonderful as ever! My name is Jeff Benes and I am the Past President of the Missouri Council for the Social Studies. I live in Westwood, Kansas, but work in Gladstone, Missouri (be honest, how many of you had to Google those two locations). This school year, at the end of February, the Missouri Council is hosting our annual conference, and we wanted to reach out to you as neighbors and fellow teachers.
The conference will be held on the Missouri side of Kansas City, at the National World War I Museum and Memorial, the weekend of February 23 and 24 (Friday and Saturday). If you have never had a chance to visit, this is the time. The museum itself is worth the weekend to come visit (and if you are a museum buff, you will need more than one day). On top of that, there will be great presentations in both content and practice, incredible speakers, a great lunch, and the opportunity to network with people just like you: Passionate teachers looking to hone their craft. Continue reading Balancing Security: Past, Present and Future→
You all know photographer Dorothea Lange. If not Dorothea herself, you’ll recognize her famous candid photos taken during the 1930s highlighting the struggles of Americans suffering during the Great Depression. Her iconic Migrant Mother and the series of photos around that image depict the desperation many felt during the period.
Later in 1942, she was hired by the US government to capture images of the relocation of Japanese-Americans affected by President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066. Thousands of American citizens were being stripped of their civil liberties, their businesses, and their homes before being placed in internment camps scattered around the country.
Lange was originally opposed to the idea but accepted the task because she thought “a true record of the evacuation would be valuable in the future.” But after reviewing her photographs and their portrayal of the Japanese American experience, the military became concerned how the images of the internment program would be received by the public. Continue reading 75th Anniversary: Executive Order 9066→