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Capitol Forum on America’s Future Choices for the 21 st Century Education Program Watson Institute for International Studies.

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Presentation on theme: "Capitol Forum on America’s Future Choices for the 21 st Century Education Program Watson Institute for International Studies."— Presentation transcript:

1 Capitol Forum on America’s Future Choices for the 21 st Century Education Program Watson Institute for International Studies

2 What is the Capitol Forum?

3 A civic education initiative designed to engage high school students in civic practice and the consideration of current international issues

4 What is the Capitol Forum? Involves students both within their social studies classroom and beyond at their state capitol

5 Grounded in the belief that foreign policy comprises a vital part of responsible citizenship, the Capitol Forum seeks to raise awareness of critical international issues and to help develop a foundation for long-term civic engagement.

6 How does the forum work? A year-long program run on a state- wide basis in participating states Up to 20 teachers in each state participate with their classes Teachers attend 2 workshops and use Choices curricula to examine international issues in their classrooms

7 How does the forum work? Student representatives selected from the participating classrooms go to the state capitol for a day Students deliberate on current international issues and the shape of U.S. foreign policy Students engage in conversation with elected officials and policymakers

8 How does the forum work? Student representatives return to their classes to lead classmates through similar exercises All students complete a Ballot on America’s Future National results of Ballot distributed to schools and policymakers nationwide

9 Who runs the forum? Choices for the 21st Century, Brown University State-based organization – Carries primary organizing responsibility – Mission involves education, youth civic engagement Secretary of State Lead teacher(s)

10 Who supports the forum? Endorsed by: National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) – “Best practice” in youth civic engagement National Council for the Social Studies Approved by: National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSSP)

11 The content of the forum

12 What topics does the forum address? Four major international issues “What role should the U.S. take in the world?”~ the four Futures options

13 How are these issues and questions addressed? In the classroom with the Choices curricula throughout the year and a specific pre-forum lesson At the capitol on the forum day Back in the classroom with the post- forum lesson

14 Pre-forum lesson Entire class participates Examine students’ international interests and concerns and relate them to the forum’s four issues Create poster and write class statement expressing students’ views

15 Preparation for the forum day Four student representatives from each class Extensive background readings on the four global issues Four “Futures” – Framework for addressing the question of the U.S. role in the world

16 The forum day Presentation of class posters Three breakout sessions – Breakout I: Four Global Issues – Breakout II: Four Futures – Breakout III: Deliberation of the Futures

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18 The forum day Hearing on the Four Futures – Presentation of each Future – Questioning by student “Senate Foreign Relations Panel”

19 The forum day Small group deliberation on the futures Conversation with elected officials and policymakers

20 The post-forum lesson Led by the student representatives who attended the forum Engages entire class in deliberations on global issues & futures Culminates in Ballot on America’s future, completed by all students, and a “Future” envisioned by each student

21 The forum from the teacher’s perspective Two professional development workshops Curriculum materials – Three free Choices units – Lesson plans, background readings Network of teachers across the state Connect students with other students across the state and the nation

22 National impact Ran in 9 states in Expanding in to 12 states Supported by Choices national office Connecting students via online resources Ballot report distributed nationally to schools, policymakers, media

23 What are the organizer’s responsibilities? Attend Choices summer institute Set the tone of the program throughout the year and maintain momentum Hire and work with lead teacher(s) Publicity and outreach (recruit teachers) Communicate with participating teachers throughout the year

24 (Cont.) What are the organizer’s responsibilities? Work with Choices office to coordinate organizational and material needs Coordinate logistics for 2 professional development workshops, forum day Secure speaker for pre-forum workshop and panelists for forum day Work with Secretary of State’s office

25 “Capitol Forum helped me realize that no policy or act has a clear-cut answer and that everything we do has global repercussions.” “I’m excited to be able to vote in two years because I believe now I will research a lot more…. This was an awesome experience. There were so many students with different thoughts and viewpoints.”

26 “This program made students ascribe VALUES to U.S. foreign policy decisions. High school students are always criticized for being self-centered, self- involved, and closed-minded. This program proves such a stereotype wrong.” --Illinois teacher “I realize now that issues that are being addressed in the U.S. not only affect the U.S. but the whole world, and that world issues affect the U.S. in many ways.”

27 “I didn’t plan to vote when I got older—now you can bet I will!” “People stereotype teenagers as not caring, but from today, I think the adults realized we are actually thinking about world issues.”

28 Capitol Forum on America’s Future Choices for the 21 st Century Education Program Watson Institute for International Studies


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