The Library of Congress is leading an effort to train teachers around the world to use digitized primary sources in the classroom to educate students on the importance of civic engagement. The Civic Voices Project of the American Federation of Teachers Educational Foundation is supported by a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education, funded by the Education for Democracy Act.
Teachers from Colombia, Georgia, Mongolia, Northern Ireland, the Philippines, Poland, South Africa and the United States attended a two-day professional development conference March 3-4, hosted by the Library’s Educational Outreach Office. During the conference, Library experts led training sessions on developing lesson plans. Conference-goers also had the opportunity to meet with Senate Historian Donald Ritchie and Assistant Secretary of Education Kevin Jennings.
The Educational Outreach Office will continue to work with project participants on how to best use the Library’s digital resources and collaborative resources on the World Digital Library in the classroom. As part of their participation in the Civic Voices Project, teachers will develop training programs for other educators in their schools or districts using the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program.
The Civic Voices Project brings together teachers to build an International Democracy Memory Bank. The project asks students to conduct oral history interviews with inspiring citizens who helped advance human rights and freedom around the world. These videos and transcripts will be available online at www.civicvoices.org .
In addition to the memory bank, the site will feature a map of civic engagement and provide a virtual forum where students worldwide can voice their opinions on vital civic issues. The site also provides a rich collection of resources for classroom projects.