Teachers sought for 2012 “Congress in the Classroom” education program

Deadline for nominations is April 15



Congress in the Classroom is a national, award-winning education program now in its 21st 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 related to Congress, the 2012 program will also include presentations about the 2012 presidential election. The workshop 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.   


The 2012 workshop will begin Monday afternoon, July 23, and end at noon on Thursday, July 26. All sessions will take place at the headquarters hotel, Embassy Suites, East Peoria, Ill. The program also is endorsed by the National Council for the Social Studies.   


Participants are responsible for (1) a non-refundable $125 registration fee (required to confirm acceptance after notice of selection) and (2) transportation to and from Peoria, Ill. 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.   


Selected session titles, 2012:   


* "New Approaches to Teaching about Congress" Paul C. Milazzo, Department of History, Ohio University   


* "Six Promising Approaches to Civic Education" Shawn P. Healy, Chair, Illinois Civic Mission Coalition and Resident Scholar and Director of Professional Development, McCormick Foundation Civics Program   


* "Why Do People Vote the Way They Do?" Andrew Civettini, Department of Political Science, Knox College   


* "Using Fantasy Congress to Engage Your Students" Jennifer Hora, Department of Political Science, Valparaiso University   


* "Congress at Work: Going to the Source Documents" Christine Blackerby, Center for Legislative Archives, National Archives and Records Administration   


* "Finding Humor in Congress" Frank Mackaman, The Dirksen Congressional Center   


* "A View of Congress from the White House: What the Presidential Tapes Reveal" KC Johnson, Department of History, Brooklyn College   


* "What Accounts for a Successful Presidential Administration?" Frank Mackaman, The Dirksen Congressional Center   


* "A Journalist's Take on Congress" David Lightman, Congressional Correspondent, McClatchy News Service   


If you are interested in learning more about the sessions and registering for the Congress in the Classroom 2012 workshop, you can complete an online registration form found at:   



From: Cindy Koeppel, The Dirksen Congressional Center, email ckoeppel@dirksencenter.org   

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