On Teaching Civics in Today’s Climate: Crystal Clear Communication is Key | Michelle Blanchet | 5 Min Read

July 10, 2023

In an age of book bans, technology bans, and polarized politics it’s hard to imagine anyone signing up to teach civics. To say the climate is bad is an understatement. Between aggressive parents, district priorities, and a slew of new state policies (depending on your state)—many teachers have been caught in the crossfire between effectively teaching civics and staying employed. 

One can spend hours speculating how the situation has come this far.  I wonder if it might be a better use of our time to focus on what we can do to best support those on the front line simply trying to do their jobs and advance civics education. Teachers are stressed, students want real conversations, and we need to have more holistic discussions on how we can best serve our students.

As I’ve talked to various organizations and educators from the U.S. and the EU there are a few opportunities I believe will take some of the tension out of teaching civics.  We need to ensure that teachers feel supported to facilitate needed discourse and are encouraged to help our students find outlets to step up, use their voices, and take action on the issues…

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Michelle Blanchet

Michelle is an educational consultant that infuses startup strategies into professional learning so that teachers are empowered to bring changemaking, social innovation, and SDGs into their work. After teaching social studies in both the U.S. and Switzerland, she founded the Educators’ Lab, which supports teacher-driven solutions to educational challenges. Michelle is the co-author of The Startup Teacher Playbook, and Preventing Polarization (2023). She has worked with organizations like Center for Curriculum Redesign, PBS Education, and Ashoka, and occasionally blogs for Edutopia. A graduate of IE University in Madrid, she is a part of the Global Shaper Community of the World Economic Forum and has presented at numerous events, including SXSWedu and TEDxLausanne. Her focus - helping teachers and students use their agency for social good.