This month our 8th grade Global Studies students are examining some of the issues around the 2016 Presidential elections. They are examining the candidates’ stances on key issues including immigration, the second amendment, and national security. The students are also learning about the current platforms, the histories of the two majors parties, as well as background information about third parties’ candidates on the Presidential ballot.
A cornerstone of the unit is engaging in safe and respectful discussions concerning these topics. Assistant Librarian Heather Cohen came into the classes to give her expertise on teaching students how to have civil discussions through asking honest, open, questions (HOQ’s). HOQ’s were initially used to discuss issues such as whether cats or dogs are better pets, or which is the better football team. Students are now applying these skills to the issues around the elections.They have shown an amazing amount of maturity with these discussions while diving into some very emotional and highly charged issues.