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From Legislation to the Classroom: Teaching the Election of Barack Obama

From Legislation to the Classroom: Teaching the Election of Barack Obama: 

Amongst the required new teaching topics in the Framework is the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency. This topic allows not only for specific investigation into the significance of this election and how it fits (and doesn’t fit) into stories of Civil Rights and the second decade of the 21st Century, it can also serve as a case study into additional important issues. These include issues of content such as, how do we teach the recent past? and how do we teach the Presidents?  This topic also allows us to explore issues of process, such as, how do we use the Framework and content standards as a teaching guide while tailoring specific curriculum and instruction for our particular teaching context? This session will engage participants in a lesson that uses legislation and excerpts from the Framework and standards to both introduce this topic and promote discussion of how we implement the Framework. We will then consider specific content questions (see above) through participant investigation and reading of relevant primary and secondary sources. Participants will leave with materials for teaching Obama’s election and presidency, a deeper understanding of choices to be made when teaching the recent past and the Presidents, and a set of questions for translating teaching topics related to the Presidents for their local contexts. This session will aim to make both the implementing of the Framework and standards into particular lessons, and considerations when teaching the Presidents, relevant and appropriate for both elementary and secondary educators.

 Presentation Team:

  • Charley Brooks, UC Santa Cruz History and Civics Project
  • Daisy Martin, UC Santa Cruz History and Civics Project