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January 5, 2022 | 0 comments

Teaching About Threats to Democracy: Jan. 6 and Beyond

Teachers are essential defenders of democracy and help teach the skills and the knowledge to prepare future generations to be civic participants and critical thinkers.

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Civic Education Is More Essential Than Ever

It’s hard to fathom that it has been one year since the U.S. Capitol was attacked by a group of insurrectionists, threatening the foundations of our country, our democratic principles and our Constitution. As a civic educator who spent time in those same hallways with high school and middle school students encouraging civil discourse on the rule of law, separation of powers and democracy, I remain more committed than ever to focus on increasing civic education in the classroom and ensuring that students understand what a democracy is, how it works and why it is important.

Using last year’s Jan. 6 insurrection as a teachable moment, the Share My Lesson team has assembled educational resources to help students reflect on the events leading up to and on that day, as well as resources that explore ongoing threats to the integrity of a democratic government, including how to foster media literacy and civil discourse, understand voter suppression and how to identify misinformation. Civic education lessons that can be adapted across the curriculum are included. 

Teachers are essential defenders of democracy and help teach the skills and the knowledge to prepare future generations to be civic participants and critical thinkers who can have respectful civil discourse on issues where we agree and disagree, as well as an understanding about our democracy.

As poet Amanda Gorman so eloquently said in her poem “The Hill We Climb” during President Biden’s Inauguration: 

And yes we are far from polished
far from pristine
but that doesn’t mean we are
striving to form a union that is perfect
We are striving to forge our union with purpose
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us
but what stands before us
We close the divide because we know to put our future first
we must first put our differences aside
We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms to one another
We seek harm to none and harmony for all

Amanda Gorman