Professional Development

The New Jersey Center for Civic Education offers a wide variety of in-person and online professional development workshops. Our most popular workshops include the following:

The social studies standards for grades K-2 and 3-5 that will be effective starting in September 2022 are focused on civic literacy.

We offer half-day (2 ½ hours) or full-day (5 hours) workshops to help your teachers understand and meet these new standards with highly engaging materials and classroom strategies.

The newly enacted “Laura Wooten’s Law” requires a course of study in civics in middle school and directs the New Jersey Center to provide materials, technical assistance and professional development and other activities to enhance the required middle school civics course.

The Center will offer free in-person 5 hour workshops at Rutgers University and other universities. These workshops will review the goals of civic education for middle school, will provide a variety of available resources and will demonstrate a number of teaching strategies that will utilize practices suggested by C-3, CIRCLE and the 2020 New Jersey Student Learning Standards.

U.S. I and II are often solely focused on the chronology of events over the course of American history. N.J.S.A. 18A:35-1 and 2 requires that civics, economics and the history of New Jersey be integrated into the teaching of the required U.S. History course. Chronology alone misses the rich interplay of civic concepts and economic issues that are often the cause of change in our history. “Laura Wooten’s Law” directs the Center to prepare curriculum guidelines and provide professional development to enable high school teachers to meet this statutory requirement.

The Center will offer free in-person 5-hour workshops at Rutgers University and other universities beginning in January 2022. These workshops will provide a variety of available resources and will demonstrate a number of teaching strategies on how civics, economics and New Jersey history can be integrated into the teaching of U.S. History in high school, consistent with the 2020 NJ Student Learning Standards, C-3 and the ideas for Educating for American Democracy.

History and government may be best understood by more local examples. The New Jersey Center developed a series of lessons about New Jersey History and Government for the 350th anniversary of the state in 2014-15.

Workshops demonstrating these lessons are available for half day (2 ½ hours) or whole day (5 hours).

Project Citizen is an interdisciplinary, hands-on program developed by the Center for Civic Education in California more than 20 years ago but still valuable today. Project Citizen will help you guide your students through the development of a project to improve their community—whether local, state, national or international.

Half-day and whole-day workshops are available.

It is impossible to provide our students with an effective civic and social studies education without addressing controversial issues. Yet, seldom in recent memory have teachers faced a more challenging, and at times confrontational, environment.

This workshop establishes the importance and necessity of addressing elections and controversial issues, the legal protections of teachers, and proactive strategies for teaching about these issues and establishing a safe environment for civil discussions and active listening.

Workshops offered as a full-day: 5 hours including a 40 minute lunch. Or offered in conjunction with Teaching Elections for a full-day: 5 hours including a 40 minute lunch

It is important that we help our students appreciate the importance of elections for our democracy. The right to vote, which many now don’t even bother to use, was once considered a “privilege” that only white males with property could exercise and was expanded to include all citizens only through years of battling in the courts and on the streets.

Workshops about Teaching Elections are available for half day or in conjunction with Teaching Controversial Issues for a whole day.

We the People combines civics, government, law and U.S. History through a series of very engaging activities that culminate in a simulated legislative hearing. It is one of the few social studies programs that has been repeatedly evaluated and shown to be effective in terms of students gaining knowledge, civic skills and positive civic dispositions.

Half-day and whole-day workshops are available.

Law, Literature and Society (for grades 9-12) offers a combined humanities program that considers laws and literature as a reflection of and commentary on historical periods.

Conflict Resolution and U.S. History (for grades 6-8 and 9-12) is the culmination of a ten-year Ford-Foundation funded project that involved 30 of the nation’s most prominent historians working with teachers across the country. The resulting book, which will soon be online for free, provides rich historical role playing activities that motivate and engage students and enables them to understand multiple perspectives and primary sources, develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills, and appreciate that history is not an inevitable flow of events but rather the result and consequences of decisions made by individuals and groups.

Teaching about Africa (for grades 6-8 and 9-12) Lessons on Africa were developed as part of Civitas, a cooperative project of a consortium of civic education organizations in the United States and developing democracies, administered by the Center for Civic Education and funded through a grant from the U.S. Departments of Education and State. Eight Africa lessons include geography, early kingdoms through emerging democracies in the 21st century.

 

Thanks to funding from the State of New Jersey under “Laura Wooten’s” Bill, Middle School Civics workshops and workshops Integrating Civics, Economics and N.J. History with High School U.S. I and II will be offered free of charge on a regional basis or at large school districts. Webinars and virtual workshops will also be available. Other workshops are available for a fee: $800 for half day and $1600 for whole day. Please contact Robert O’Dell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details.