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Studying The Political Process

March 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Diana Hadley

When I was a first year teacher in the early 1970s, it was the word around the teachers’ lounge that talking about politics in class was a sure way to lose your job.

Currently, teachers and members of their publications staffs are attending rallies, town hall and school board meetings; and they are including the issues as student newspaper and yearbook coverage more than any time in my professional memory.

There is still some reluctance to make waves when almost any program could be cut “due to funding challenges,” but there have been few times when students have had such an opportunity to cover such important local stories that affect them, their families and their communities. I know many advisers are encouraging their staffs to report about these important issues with news, feature, and opinion writing.

In the last few weeks, I have talked to adults who have never been involved in politics until this year. Some have voted the way their parents and grandparents voted without comparing the political issues of the day with their personal interests. Some realize they have not participated in the part of democracy that requires citizens to be informed.

And that’s where we have a chance to make a difference. In addition to our publications students who have the chance of a lifetime to study the political process up close and personal, the students who read the stories also gain information and a new appreciation for their role in a democracy.

Can these issues be covered objectively? Yes.

Is it challenging to do so? Also yes, but what an educational opportunity to teach hands-on civics.

I would like to post high school yearbook and newspaper coverage about current issues on the IHSPA website and in the next issue of IHSPA Magazine. I hope staffs will send examples they would like to share with others. Information from editors and advisers about feedback from the coverage is also encouraged. Send as PDF versions to my e-mail: dhadley@franklincollege.edu

I look forward to receiving the products of your effort.

 

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Categories: IHSPA News