Congress in the Classroom program seeks nominations for 2011


Congress in the Classroom is a national, award-winning education program in its 20th year. Developed and sponsored by The Dirksen Congressional Center, the workshop is dedicated to the exchange of ideas and information on teaching about Congress.

Congress in the Classroom is designed for high school or middle school teachers who teach U.S. history, government, civics, political science or social studies. Forty teachers will be selected to take part in the program. All
online applications must be received by no later than April 15. We will notify individuals of our decisions by April 30.

Although the workshop will feature a variety of sessions, the 2011 program will feature a broad overview of Congress and blends two kinds of sessions. Some emphasize ideas and resources that teachers can use almost immediately in their classrooms — sessions about primary sources and best practices are good examples. Other sessions deal with more abstract topics. Think of them as resembling graduate-level courses, stronger on content than on classroom applications. If you are looking for a program that features one or the other exclusively, Congress in the Classroom is probably not right for you.

Throughout the program, you will work with subject-matter experts as well as colleagues from across the nation. This combination of firsthand knowledge and peer-to-peer interaction will give you new ideas, materials and a
professionally enriching experience.

“Until now so much of what I did in my class on Congress was straight theory—this is what the Constitution says,” noted one of our teachers. “Now I can use these activities and illustrations to help get my students involved in
the class and at the very least their community, but hopefully in the federal government. This workshop has given me a way to help them see how relevant my class is and what they can do to help make changes in society.”

The 2011 workshop will be held Monday, July 25-28, at Embassy Suites, East Peoria, Ill. The program is certified by the Illinois State Board of Education for up to 22 Continuing Education Units. The program also is endorsed by the National Council for the Social Studies.

Participants are responsible for a nonrefundable $125 registration fee (required to confirm acceptance after notice of selection) and transportation to and from Peoria. Many school districts will pay all or a portion of these costs.

The Center pays for three nights’ lodging at the headquarters hotel (providing a single room for each participant), workshop materials, local transportation, all but three meals, and presenter honoraria and expenses. The Center spends between $40,000 and $45,000 to host the program each year.

What follows are the sessions planned for the 2011 edition of Congress in the Classroom:

*(mainList)Jumping Right In, Frank Mackaman, The Dirksen Congressional Center

-Congressional Insight: A Simulation, Colleen Vivori, National Association of Manufacturers
-Using Fantasy Congress to Engage My Students, Scott Corner, Government and Politics Teacher, Palma High School, Salinas Calif.
-Congress at Work, Christine Blackerby, Center for Legislative Archives, National Archives and Records Administration
-Help for Teachers from the Office of The Historian, Kathleen Johnson, Oral Historian, Office of the Historian, U.S. House of Representatives
-A View of Congress from the White House: What the Presidential Tapes Reveal, KC Johnson, Department of History, Brooklyn College
-The Congressional Time Line Project, Frank Mackaman, The Dirksen Congressional Center
-Congress for Kids, Cindy Koeppel, The Dirksen Congressional Center
-A Journalist’s Take on Congress, David Lightman, Congressional Correspondent, McClatchy News Service
-Teaching with Primary Sources, Cindy Rich, Project Director, Teaching with Primary Sources, Eastern Illinois University
-Leadership in the House During the 112th Congress, Bryan Marshall, Department of Political Science, Miami University of Ohio
-New Approaches to Teaching about Congress, Paul C. Milazzo, Department of History, Ohio University
-How to Get Your Point Across to Congress Members, Stephanie Vance, Advocacy Associates, Washington, D.C.
-The Impact of Congressional Redistricting on the 2012 Elections

For more information, click here Congress in the Classroom.

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