Monday, July 18, 2016

TEACHING CIVICS - Election 2016

"Explaining the ‘scandals, lies and incivility' of the 2016 election to teens" PBS NewsHour 7/12/2016


SUMMARY:  The 2016 election mudslinging from “crooked” Hillary Clinton and “dangerously incoherent” Donald Trump has even piqued the interest of teens — and made teaching high school civics that much more difficult.  So it's time to get creative, which one 12th grade government teacher has done with his ‘scandals, lies and incivility' curriculum.  Education Week's Lisa Stark reports for the NewsHour.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  It's always been the case that the political science taught in textbooks can be a far cry from politics as practiced in the real world.

But given how different and unusual this year's presidential election has been, it's presented a particular challenge in some school settings, trying to square the civics book with the 2016 campaign as it's unfolded.

Special correspondent Lisa Stark of Education Week visits a high school in Maryland just two hours from the White House, where teachers are trying to help students understand this out-of-the-ordinary election.

It's part of our weekly series Making the Grade.

BRUCE FOX, North East High School:  Good morning.

STUDENTS:  Good morning.

BRUCE FOX:  Good morning.  We're going to start with a warm up here today.  Number one, what are the three Constitutional requirements to be President?

LISA STARK (Education Week):  Bruce Fox's 12th grade A.P. government class has been following this presidential election as the field has winnowed down and the rhetoric has heated up.

BRUCE FOX:  And this year, you can easily make the argument that it's like that on steroids.

LISA STARK:  Is it ever.

DONALD TRUMP, (R), Presumptive Presidential Nominee:  She's a world-class liar.  Just look at her pathetic e-mail server statements, or her phony landing.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D), Presumptive Presidential Nominee:  Donald Trump's ideas aren't just different.  They are dangerously incoherent.

LISA STARK:  From television to Twitter, it's been an unruly campaign.

DONALD TRUMP:  Crooked Hillary Clinton.  We can't let it happen.

LISA STARK:  To help students cut through the noise, Bruce Fox is trying out his own ballot.

BRUCE FOX:  We are going to look at scandals, lies and incivility in the 2016 presidential election.  You are going to categorize each incident and rate it.

I think that this year presents extra challenges because the political parties traditionally have had a platform that was predictable and well-known, and, this year, things are a little bit more all over the place.

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