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Bronxville Schools Work To Define Engaged Citizenship For Students

Bronxville teachers work a professional development workshop.
Bronxville teachers work a professional development workshop. Photo Credit: Contributed by Bronxville Union Free School District
Bronxville School teachers collaborated over a two-day professional development workshop to define engaged citizenship and develop new learning experiences for all students.
Bronxville School teachers collaborated over a two-day professional development workshop to define engaged citizenship and develop new learning experiences for all students. Photo Credit: Contributed by Bronxville Union Free School District
Bronxville teachers sought to define engaged citizenship.
Bronxville teachers sought to define engaged citizenship. Photo Credit: Contributed by Bronxville Union Free School District

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. -- Bronxville School curriculum leaders and several high school social studies teachers collaborated over a two-day professional development workshop to discuss engaged citizenship.

The phrase is one of the four tenants of the Bronxville Promise and the educators looked at each grade level to develop new learning experiences for all students that encourage them to take action.

As part of the workshop, led by senior consultant Diane Cunningham of Learner-Centered Initiatives, the faculty members developed performance assessments for engaged citizenship and built on some of the project-based learning experiences that are already being implemented in the district.

The workshop helped teachers deepen their understanding of engaged citizenship and strengthened their ability to design assessments, which will help measure students’ critical thinking skills, creativity and collaboration in developmentally appropriate ways.

“Looking at engaged citizenship as a continuum of skills helped highlight that students first need to understand their civic duties, then be able to identify problems or recognize injustice, before becoming motivated to act with integrity, empathy and persistence in finding ways to effect systematic change,” said Justine Rutherford, a second-grade teacher and curriculum leader.

Dana Landesman, a high school social studies teacher, said she looks forward to continuing this important work and developing more opportunities for students to get involved and take action. National History Day, which will showcase students’ authentic historical research later in the year, is one of the projects that will give Bronxville students the chance to become involved in the world around them.

“Students will benefit from (our curriculum development work) because it helped me to articulate the various steps students take during the process of research for National History Day and how these steps can be assessed by the student and myself,” Landesman said.

Photo Captions: Bronxville School teachers collaborated over a two-day professional development workshop to define engaged citizenship and develop new learning experiences for all students that encourage them to take action. Photos courtesy of the Bronxville Union Free School District

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