Deliberating in a Democracy in the Americas

 

Deliberating in a Democracy in the Americas, an international educational exchange program, promotes learning democratic principles and the skills of civic deliberation among a new generation in the United States and in Latin America.

Deliberating in a Democracy in the Americas is  conducted by the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago (CRFC), the Constitutional Rights Foundation in Los Angeles (CRF) and Street Law, Inc. with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.  Locally, Learning Law and Democracy Foundation is coordinating the program in Minnesota.

The program’s goal is to improve the quality of civic education and engagement in democracy by involving students in discussion of current issues of democracy, particularly those that young people view as important. Students develop deliberation skills and understanding of content that matches standards for civics, government, geography, and world history/cultures courses.

The project creates partnerships among secondary teachers and their students in several U.S. sites and four Latin American nations—Peru, Mexico, Colombia, and Ecuador.  Minnesota is paired with Mexico through a partnership between Learning Law and Democracy Foundation and the Universidad La Salle in Mexico City. Eight teachers in Minnesota are working with eight teachers in Mexico.

2011-2012 Activities

Cortés Palace in Cuernavaca, Mexico

  • The initial activity for the project included a professional development seminar, July 3-7, in Cuernavaca, Mexico (near Mexico City).
  • During the 2011-2012 school year, classes of students in each country are participating in three classroom deliberations that are selected with student input. Through a project website, students will share results of polls and research on issues and educate students in their partner country about their community and public issues.
  • The classroom deliberations will culminate with a teleconference to be held winter/spring 2012. Delegates from classes in both countries will exchange experiences and viewpoints on an issue of common interest.
  • Professional development sessions conducted by the Learning Law and Democracy Foundation during the fall semester will provide background information on content and issues, as well as tips for leading deliberations and discussion.
  • Minnesota teachers will report pre- and post-program student and educator data to the project evaluator (University of Minnesota)

 

Questions? E-mail Jennifer at jbloom@teachingcivics.org

Participating Minnesota Schools

Minnesota participants gather for training in Cuernavaca, Mexico

Champlin Park and Mexico Partners

Coon Rapids and Mexico Partners