Event: Civics in the Hot Seat | Sept 16, 2021

By team tece

Please RSVP to receive a link to join here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYvdeqgqj0rHtU3wQ0i2cWzvpyIKhbk9KBr

Civics and history education has received an enormous increase in attention recently from policy-makers, funders, and, to varying degrees, the general public in both Germany and the United States. Although the systems of and approaches to civic learning and politische Bildung may vary, similar societal challenges – racism and anti-Semitism, right-wing populism and extremism, political polarization, pervasiveness of conspiracy theories, and increasing mistrust of democracy itself – have led to increasing calls on civic education as a solution. Political controversy, however, has accompanied these demands for more and better civic learning. The current, heated debates in the US over whether and how to teach about race and the role of action civics in classrooms are an interesting point of comparison to right-wing populist and right-wing extremist pressures on teachers and non-formal education institutions in Germany.

In this panel and interactive conversation, we will look to see how these debates are taking shape beyond our own national contexts by exploring:

  • What does it mean to strengthen civic and history education?
  • What are the current political debates and pressures around civic and history education in the US and Germany?
  • How are individual actors and the field as a whole responding to these challenges and possibilities?
  • How can civic learning professionals approach their work in light of these challenges and what can stakeholders do to support them?

We are lucky to have an expert panel joining us to offer their insights and experiences:

dr. helle becker

Director, Transfer für Bildung e.V.

Dr. Helle Becker is a cultural and educational scientist, director of Transfer für Bildung e.V. and head of Expertise & Kommunikation für Bildung, two organizations specialized in applied research and its utilization for the practice of cultural, political and international education. She is the author of numerous publications and is a lecturer at the Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, the TH Cologne and the University of Hildesheim.

saba-nur cheema

Director of Education, Bildungsstätte Anne Frank

Saba-Nur Cheema is the Director of Education at the Anne Frank Educational Center. She studied political science and economics at the Goethe University and is a lecturer at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences in the field of social work. She leads seminars and gives lectures on the following topics, among others: Educational work against anti-Semitism and racism, Islamophobia and religious plurality. A special focus of her work is the cooperation with self-organizations of migrants, Muslim groups and people with migration and refugee experience.

Shawn healy, PhD

Senior Director, Policy and Advocacy, CivXNow Coalition

Shawn Healy, PhD, Senior Director, Policy and Advocacy, leads iCivics’ state and federal policy and advocacy work through the CivXNow Coalition and oversees civic education campaigns in several key states. He plays an active role in recruiting supporters to fund policy, advocacy, and implementation efforts nationwide to ensure impact.

Healy chaired the Illinois Task Force on Civic Education in 2014 and later led separate, successful legislative campaigns for a required civics course in Illinois in middle and high school, respectively. He also led the Illinois Social Science Standards Task Force. Its recommendations were adopted by the Illinois State Board of Education in 2015.

Healy also serves as an adjunct professor in Public Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a Serve Illinois Commissioner. Before joining iCivics, Healy worked for fifteen years at the Robert R. McCormick Foundation in various capacities, most recently serving as Democracy Program Director. He began his career as a social studies teacher at West Chicago Community High School (IL) and Sheboygan North and South High Schools (WI).

A 2001 James Madison Fellow from the State of Wisconsin, he holds a MA and PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago in political science and earned a bachelor’s degree with distinction in Political Science, History and Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. His dissertation is titled “Essential School Supports for Civic Learning.”

Caroline Klibanoff

Managing Director, Made By Us

Caroline Klibanoff is the program manager for Made By Us, leading the nationwide initiative from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and managing a coalition of 90+ history and civics institutional partners. A public historian whose work bridges the civic engagement sphere with the humanities, Klibanoff has worked across the field: as the project manager for all exhibitions at the MIT Museum; on the National Register of Historic Places update for the Longfellow House – George Washington’s Headquarters; as a coordinator at Northeastern University’s Digital Scholarship Group; and in programs for the Cambridge Historical Society. She also served as a digital strategist for civic engagement organizations the Bridge Alliance and Big Tent Nation, where she developed the American Civic Collaboration Awards and helped launch the inaugural National Week of Conversation. She began her career in public opinion: in strategic communications, PR and social media at the Pew Research Center, and then video and online course production for the FrameWorks Institute. Originally from Atlanta, she holds a B.A. in American Studies and Film Studies from Georgetown University and an M.A. in Public History and Digital Humanities from Northeastern University.

During the first hour of the event, we will hold a moderated panel with opportunity for audience Q&A. Afterward, during the last half hour, we will offer the opportunity to discuss your experience in small groups and network with a transatlantic group of colleagues. 

The event will take place on Zoom on September 16th 2021, 5pm (CEST) / 11:00am (ET)  and will take place in English.

Please RSVP to receive a link to join here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYvdeqgqj0rHtU3wQ0i2cWzvpyIKhbk9KBr

If you have any questions, please contact Katja Greeson at greeson@adb.de.

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