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Teaching in the "Age of Trump"

Session 2
Steve Goldberg — Research Triangle High School

I will share some of what I have done in my classroom as my students and I make our way through discussions of modern US history. I look forward to having all participants share our experiences as we teach in the "Age of Trump." One topic of discussion will include the concept of teacher bias and teacher responsibility. I teach in a reasonably liberal area of North Carolina, and I worry about some of my more conservative students who may feel off-put by some of their classmates' comments and the general feeling when politics comes up. Also, I am sure some of my biases about current policy come out in my teaching in both subtle and not so subtle ways. Is it appropriate for teachers to let students know their position on issues, such as admitting Syrian refugees and on whether transgender soldiers should be allowed to serve in the military? Does that answer change if students ask for your opinion? We'll talk about these sorts of questions and consider our own teaching practices and challenges as we navigate these uncharted waters.

Conversational Practice

I'll share some of what I've done in my classroom, and then we will give each participant about 15 minutes to reflect in writing about a variety of questions. We'll share first in small groups (via Google Docs) and then have each group report back to the larger group. We'll then merge our Google Docs and have a large-group discussion where I'll take notes and facilitate conversation. At the end of the 90 minutes, we will have created a collaborative document that shares best practices and our thoughts/questions/concerns as we approach civic education in the challenging times we live in today.

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