5 Ways to Discuss the Capitol Riot with Your Students

In regard to the Capitol riot, focusing on facts from reliable sources and experiencing historic moments can be teachable moments. To address the subject, consider these tips from Dr. Sigal Ben-Porath an expert in civic education at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.

Focus On the Facts

Teachers can discuss the facts of what occurred on Wednesday as well as discussing the roles of voters, electors, the courts, state legislative bodies, and Congress in an election, says Ben-Porath.

Seek Out Good Sources

Hand-in-hand with this facts-first approach, educators should use this moment to further highlight digital literacy lessons, Ben-Porath says. Students should look at diverse and reliable news sources ranging from local to national publications and apply critical thinking skills to unverified social media posts.

She adds that with older students and politically open classrooms, teachers can move on to questions about student reactions to the events.

Consider Discussing the Event in any Class

This discussion will come naturally to civics, social studies, and history classes but the topic shouldn’t be left to the humanities educators alone. “I don’t think it’s solely the responsibility of the social studies teacher,” says Ben-Porath. “I really think that a math educator, a science educator, the people who are in the classroom or virtual classroom today, have a responsibility to make even a limited 15-minute portion of the class available to students to discuss it.”

Explore Living Through Historic Moments

It’s a good time to remind students these are historic times that can be compared to other crucial moments in the history of democracy, Ben-Porath says. She suggests building exercises and discussions that ask students to document where they were, what they were doing, and what others who were nearby might have felt as events unfolded at the Capitol.

Remember That Educators Can Help Navigate Society Through Turbulent Times

The polarization of American society today is epistemic, Ben-Porath says, “Meaning we don’t share the same knowledge, the same information, the same understanding of reality.”

Excerpted from “5 Ways to Discuss the Capitol Riot with Your Students” in Technology & Learning. Read the full article for more details.

Source: Technology & Learning | 5 Ways to Discuss the Capitol Riot with Your Students, https://www.techlearning.com/news/5-ways-to-discuss-the-capitol-riot-with-your-students | © 2021 Future Publishing Limited Quay House

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