Teaching the Election: Clinton v. Trump: What are the Plans at Your School?

As we head into Back-To-School season, what are your school’s plans for teaching the 2016 presidential election?

Seems to me that the some tried-and-true routines of the past are not going to work in any valuable and instructive way this season.

One approach would be to ignore it all together. More peaceful that way for sure. But what a lost opportunity for teaching history, civics, the issues at stake and media literacy.  The old debate structure of  two perspectives and the false equivalence of two opposing arguments  might suffice in more normal times but seems futile right now. How about doubling down on these topics instead:

  • the Constitution
  • the electoral process
  • the meaning of democracy
  • the key issues at stake and the party platform responses to them
  • the role of the media
  • media analysis
  • political rhetoric and responsibility
  • following up on historical references and resonances

That’s just general ideas for starters. What’s on your list?

Who’s thinking about it in your school? And with whom?

What are your ideas for teaching the election this fall? How do you plan to engage students in more that the insult and latest outrage exchange that can pass for political dialogue on cable TV?

And how do you protect and shield the learning from the violence and venom of racist and misogynist rhetoric? How do we model, preserve and promote civility and intelligent discourse in a political world gone bonkers?


Will post links and resources  as people share them:


  1. Jean:

    I’m am looking for answers on this. I teach middle school and we have many vulnerable kids.

    • Hi Jean – I’ve added a few resources to the post and will continue to do so. What kinds of things are you looking for specifically? You might also want to pose your question on Twitter.

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