Sandra Day O’Connor Civics Education Website worth checking out

I recently explored the iCivics website that retired SC Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has been instrumental in promoting. Her concern about the lack of education taking place in Social Studies and specifically about government and how it works and the role as citizens we must take is a concern we all share. We share it as teachers & educators, but we also share it as parents, grandparents and as Citizens! This is one of the great issues facing MCSS and NCSS, as we know the marginalization of SS education continues to be a significant wound in the educational landscape.

This is not only an issue in Massachusetts. A recent Diane Ravitch post (on her own blog) gave us all some good news but there is such a long road to travel on this, so much so that the NCSS 2014 Convention in Boston will have as its theme Civic Education. Where better than in Boston!

Back to the website. It is a game based site that appeals to varied grade levels. My best assessment is that it is most comfortably aimed at the middle school students, but with some alterations or whole group use, many games could be sued at the lower grades and at the high school level as well. There are some very challenging scenarios, simulations, role playing tasks, and the entertainment level is good enough that students should be intrigued and willing to stick with the games. My impression is that this could be an on-going activity for a classroom, with students going back to saved games/simuations on a continuing basis. Certainly worth checking out, and when you have tried the site out in school, please follow up here with comments so that others may learn from your experiences!

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