The Civic Mirror requires educators to let go of “the classroom reigns,” to have faith in their students and the experience, and to capitalize on the endless teachable moments it provides. The instructor’s most important role is to observe what’s happening and to connect the experience to her students’ lives and the curriculum. Simply put, the CM educator ideally helps her students understand what can and cannot be done, and helps them foresee the possible consequences of the various options. But she will NOT tell her students what “should” be done.
This video shows several clips of what I call student free flow. These scenes may seem rather innocuous (clips of students chattering), but there are stories of student learning behind each and every one them. For example, pay attention to the clip of the boy sulking in his chair in the computer lab. With a bit of prompting and encouragement on my (the teacher’s) part, the adversity he faced in The Civic Mirror was turned into a powerful – and maybe life-changing – learning experience (as you’ll see in the last video of this series).
There are also several clips of teacher coaching, mentoring, and interrupting in order to educate either small groups of students or the whole class. The Civic Mirror completely changes the classroom dynamics, providing a rich, student-centered learning environment, and an environment that frees up teachers so they can more meaningfully interact with their students.
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ARE YOU WONDERING WHAT THE CIVIC MIRROR IS?
Basically it’s a government and economics simulation that turns classrooms into countries and students into citizens. Far more than just a game, The Civic Mirror is a fully comprehensive civic education program that turns the old rules of teaching and learning on their head. Students actively assume real-world citizenship roles – both in the classroom and online – and work as individuals to provide for imaginary families and achieve hidden agendas, while working together to build a strong, democratic nation.
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