Taking Informed Action

Inquiry + Native Americans = Better Education

November’s annual Native American Heritage Month and the national holiday of Thanksgiving are times when many educators across the country turn their focus to lessons about Native peoples. At the National Museum of the American Indian, we receive many requests during November from teachers and parents looking for advice and resources to help them teach […]

Taking In4med Action: 45 Options for Dimension 4     

  In the Summer of 2015 I facilitated a two week workshop with 8 high school social studies teachers on performance based assessments (PBA). This curriculum project provided the opportunity, and context, to formally introduce the C3 Framework and IDM to Fairfax County Public Schools. The team was comprised of 8 teachers who represented the […]

Informing Informed Action with “Systems Thinking” Routines

Author’s note: In a previous blog I shared 45 options for Taking Informed Action. This post builds on those ideas. I am happy to share with you two learning experiences I participated in this summer. Although not intentionally related (one happened in mid-June and the other at the end of July), the two events intersected […]

Is my teaching too WEIRD?

Recently, I read social science researchers are way too weird. WEIRD stands for Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic. Between 2003-2007, 96% of behavioral science research used WEIRD subjects. Accordingly, conclusions about the human mind are based on this very specific demographic group. However, WEIRD subjects are, well, weird themselves – scholars suggest that this […]

Out of Inquiry Comes Action: An Update on the Fishkill Supply Depot

In December of 2016, I submitted a blog about the community effort to save the Fishkill Supply Depot. Two year later and we are still fighting to keep this historic site from being commercially developed. I became a trustee for the Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot and became actively involved in Taking Informed Action. […]

Talking and Listening with “Strangers”

Lately, I’ve been grappling with how scholars, teachers, and policymakers define “citizenship” and, consequently, “citizenship education.” One thing I found was the prevalence of individualized notions of citizenship in curriculum – meaning when students think about acting as a democratic citizen, it is often in terms of the individual’s rights, freedoms, and actions, rather than […]

Social Studies and Statues

Unless you have isolated yourself from all forms of media (or human interaction), you have seen the topic of historical memory being discussed, specifically within the context of Confederate monuments. Though I don’t generally shy away from political discussions, I usually keep mum on social media. I would much rather discuss these things in-person. When […]

It Was All Going Smoothly Until…

It was all going smoothly until I got the call from my principal. “Mr. Davidson, you need to come retrieve your 7th grade students. Some of my elementary teachers are complaining.” “Well there goes that idea!” I thought. “See if I teach this inquiry again.” To provide some context, I teach 7th grade social studies […]