Why is this project important?
1. Freedom relies on widespread participation in the political process: Kids need to understand that it’s important to take part. Not voting and not thinking about politics is a decision to not value liberty.2. Free speech should not have a higher value than courtesy: It is important that our children understand the necessity of courtesy in political discourse. It is possible to disagree with respect, to be wrong with integrity, and to be right with humility. 3. It’s okay to get excited! America was born out of passionate disagreements, has been sustained by heartfelt debate, and will remain strong because of - not in spite of - sometimes over-enthusiastic differences of opinion: While #2 is true, it’s also important that our kids realize it’s Okay to be fervent in our views and to communicate our convictions with enthusiasm.4. Children must learn to think for themselves: Too many people have given up critical analysis in favor of simply parroting other people’s opinions as their own. This is not only lazy, but dangerous. The greatest threat to democracy is a voting public.5. Listen to both sides: Teaching students to listen to both sides of a debate and to pay attention to people they think they will disagree with. We must learn how to cultivate multiple sources when gathering information.6. The truth can handle good questions: If children don’t understand, they should always ask. Good questions reveal truth… or the lie. Either way, good question asking is critical to a political process that works7. People who disagree with us are not by definition un-American: We all know people who believe everyone should walk in lockstep. We must teach our children that there is always more to learn, that people who disagree with us aren’t always wrong, and that narrow-mindedness is the shortest path to political oppression.Back to Top
Will this information be presented with a bias?
Information is provided by those both pro and con to an issue. Students are only given the information and at no time are students required to agree or disagree with a particular point. Instead students are taught the importance of checking facts, developing opinions and defending them, and working together to create solutions.Back to Top
What is the academic purpose of this project?
This assignment will help student build the following skills:Research, debate, writing, reasoning, critical thinking, reading, and depending on the topic (economy, environment, etc.) possibly science, health, math or other areas.Back to Top