This post is not about the Democratic platform, or the role of education within that platform.
To what extent can the Democratic Convention itself be incorporated into education? Wouldn't this give students a chance to better understand the US political process and explore views on the more important political agendas of our day?
One person leading the way is our friend, Rita Ferrandino.
Rita is working with Metro State College of Denver to offer a free course on the convention that can be used in high school or college classes. This course offers students the ability to examine the events of the convention from different perspectives, including education, election issues, healthcare, and the Iraq war. Students are assigned readings and multimedia, and then participate in discussions on any or all of those issues. Teachers can offer closed sites for just their classes, or they can join the larger community.
It will be interesting to see the results from this course:
How many classes used the course?
Did the course help students learn more about the political process and issues?
What did we learn so that we can construct other topical course materials even more effectively?
Do any readers know of other examples of materials from current events being structured for effective use in the classroom? What's worked well?
Rita is also keeping a blog on the convention, at dnceducation.wordpress.com. Among her entries is a video of her discussing the role of science initiatives in the Obama education planks.
Rita is at the convention as a delegate from Florida, and is one of three delegates being featured by the NY Times in their Meet the Delegates series (after a 30 second commercial).
In real life, Rita is a co-founder and principal of ARC Capital Development and a sponsor of the first Congressional Briefing on Science Education as Executive Director of the Elementary Science Coalition.
We hope the course proves to be a success.
One more thing. People often ask me if they can see pictures of trips I go on. My wife and I just got back from a fantastic trip to Chile. If you are interested, here are the pictures and commentary.