Deeper Civic Learning: Democratic Knowledge & Civic Agency

Professional Development Training for Middle-High School

3 Professional Development Hours Available

"Civic Engagement in Our Democracy" by the Democratic Knowledge Project

July 1, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Join Justin Pottle as he shares civics curriculum that is in-development called the "Civic Engagement in Our Democracy" , designed for Grade 8.  This new curriculum is being developed by the Edmond Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard, scholars throughout the university, and a cohort of 8th grade social studies teachers.

Learn how this curriculum is designed to develop an 8th grader's critical thinking skills, a thorough understanding of the foundations and workings of government in the United States, and capacities for civic agency.

Watch replay video. 


Justin Pottle Speaker Bio

Justin Pottle is a content specialist and curriculum designer with the  Democratic Knowledge Project  and a PhD candidate in Government at Harvard University. With the DKP, he has overseen development and implementation of units on political philosophy, American history, electoral politics, and constitutional law and conducted research on the 10 Questions framework. His academic work focuses on the intersections of democratic theory, political communications, and 20th century American political thought.

Preview some of Justin's  work .



How to Plan a Civics-In-Action Speaker Series with Your Students 

July 1, 1:30 - 3:00 pm

civic agency "A civic agent is a citizen who is 'active, not passive' in the affairs of his or her community, state and nation."

Join Patrick McGravey to learn about what the  Civics in Action Speaker Series  is, how to plan one and customize it for your classroom.  This activity will engage your students and teach civic agency. 

  • Present live and virtual options
  • Share video lessons and activities to set up Civic-in-Action talks
  • Support participants to brainstorm potential speakers from your own communities
  • Share "how-to" plan with step-by-step process to keep speaker on topic and students engaged
  • Provide time and guidance for participatants to create a product useful in their classrooms in the fall. 


Watch replay video. (approximately at 1:20:00 is when this presentation starts) 

Patrick McGravey Speaker Bio

Patrick McGravey has been in education since 1993 and is currently teaching eighth grade civics at the North Andover Middle School. He is also a pilot teacher for Harvard University’s Democratic Knowledge Project’s one-year curriculum entitled Civic Engagement in Our Democracy . Patrick feels passionately about promoting civic engagement and was fortunate enough to have been selected for the 2015 C-SPAN Teacher Fellowship where he worked in Washington DC on civics curriculum.

In 2019, Patrick  started a monthly Civics in Action Speaker Series that civically engages his students in a meaningful way. This has also exposed them to multiple areas of the new Grade Eight Massachusetts Civics Frameworks while at the same time preparing for the upcoming Civics Action Project . Speakers in this series include Massachusetts State Senator Diana DiZoglio, State Representative Andy Vargas and Congressman Seth Moulton. It is the hope of this program to bring in politicians and activists to connect with students that goes beyond the traditional learning experience as well as providing opportunities to bring in diverse perspectives that reflect the ethnicities, backgrounds and overall makeup of all students.

Contact: Wendy Stevens -

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Deeper Civic Learning: Democratic Knowledge & Civic Agency

Our programs in action!

I am very excited to use 'We the Civics Kids" curriculum and use many ideas from the Rendell Center. My other favorite presentation was Rebecca Valbuena - so many of her ideas are related to what I can implement in my classroom.
- Teacher
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Please contact us with any questions you may have about any of our programs or would like additional information.

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