One of the legacies of 2017 is the amount of time I’ve spent thinking about civics, fairness, and responsibility. As we head into this new year, I think it’s fair to say that many Americans are more civically engaged than in past years—protesting and marching, writing and posting, joining active communities, voicing personal opinions, and even running for office. 2017 galvanized many citizens to consider how high-level politics affects daily life and to become more involved.
As a parent, I struggle mightily trying to figure out what to teach my children. On the one hand, I really need them to follow certain rules—I need them to cross at crosswalks, to not drink and drive, to go to school, to be kind, and to assume the best in people. I really want them to follow other rules—put their shoes away, don’t leave dirty clothes on the floor…
My struggle is that rule-following is at odds with some of the most important skills children need to have heading into their lives as productive members of our global and digital society. Researcher Tony Wagner, of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, has identified the “7 Survival Skills” needed for modern engagement and none of them are “rule following.”
This month’s product newsletter is dedicated to LDC products in action and there is no better place to aim this spotlight than Mississippi. Led by Superintendent Dr. Sue Townsend, Rankin County School District (RCSD) is an ideal model for this type of profile for a number of reasons. The district has been hard at work implementing what started as a three school initiative, transforming it into a district-wide effort.
LDC’s Executive Director Chad Vignola is presenting alongside Honey Gubuan, teacher and Social Studies Chair at East Side Union High School in California, at the Carnegie Foundation 2017 Summit on Improvement in Education. This Summit, an outstanding education and networking event, is taking place in San Francisco, CA, on March 27-29, 2017.
The recent election has ushered in a period of uncertainty and turbulence for all, regardless of whom we each voted for individually. Cries for recognition of voice abound from all sides of the political spectrum as people struggle to be heard and to have their experiences and circumstances taken seriously by their leaders and by their fellow citizens. Grave warnings aside, what is clear is that many Americans feel that the state of collective discourse is fragile at best and absent at worst.