GeoCivics Educators' Institute: The Politics and Geographies of America’s Electoral System
A Summer 2022 Social Studies Education Professional Renewal Course
The GeoCivics Educators’ Institute provides in-depth, hands-on exposure to historical analysis, spatial thinking, and instructional techniques focused on the challenges of creating fair electoral districts and ensuring fair elections. The sessions include timely professional development focused on misunderstood aspects of presidential electoral policy and legal history. These are topics germane to civics and geography curricula, and their importance has been highlighted by events since the 2020 election. Teacher participants will gain insight into how political scientists, geographers, mathematicians, and public officials engage in conversation about representation in a modern democratic republic. As often as possible, we will use Colorado as a case study. The process of drawing electoral districts here is a gateway for discussing geography, demographics, and political systems. It’s also an opportunity to introduce secondary social studies students to the importance of geospatial technology and GIS. The focus is on helping teachers consider what it means to teach about the electoral process, as well as to solicit their ideas for ways to make the existing GeoCivics resource at UCCS useful through the 2030 census and redistricting cycle.
This course/institute will use content lectures, panel discussions with electoral officials, group discussions about teaching political issues using data, and hands-on activities to reinforce teachers’ understanding of these concepts. Activities will demonstrate a data-driven, inquiry approach, using GIS tools for visualizing and analyzing redistricting controversies. After the institute, participants will submit two complete lesson plans showing how these analytical skills and controversial topics can be brought into secondary classrooms. Following editing, these lesson plans will be posted to the Hewit Institute webpage for public access.
This course is graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.
Level of Study
UCCS Campus (Colorado Springs) + Follow-up Assignment
Institute dates: June 13-15, 2022 (8 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
Assignment due: July 31, 2022
Add/Register by: June 16
Drop by: June 16
Withdraw by: June 17
$130 ($65/credit hour)
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