Tennessee Civics Academy
A premier annual collaborative conference for k-12 government, history, and social science teachers.
Registration information will be shared in January 2024. If you have questions, you can email InstitutePrograms@utk.edu.
About the Academy
Housed within the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Baker School of Public Policy and Public Affairs, the Institute of American Civics (IAC) engages the school’s mission by helping teachers to “be part of the solution.” Today’s political climate poses serious challenges to educating America’s youth on civic values. Yet, educators can cultivate democratic citizenship by teaching civic knowledge and encouraging students to become civically engaged through fostering critical thinking, media literacy, public service, civil discourse, and other practices associated with a free society.
The IAC TN Civics Academy provides a space for educators to discuss ways to foster and teach topics in civic education and to nurture civic engagement and viewpoint diversity among Tennessee’s youth. The multiple-day conference provides discussion panels led by experienced teachers from rural, urban, and suburban districts to discuss student engagement strategies, classroom challenges, and opportunities faced in promoting healthy discussion, viewpoint diversity, and civil discourse, and to share cross-disciplinary project-based learning activities. Also, attendees learn from UT scholars through content-rich presentations highlighting American founding principles, history, U.S. Constitutional rights, economics, Supreme Court decisions tied to American education, and the legacy of Senator Howard H. Baker Jr.
Why Teach Civics?
- Democracy needs to be learned.
- Model civic discourse.
- Help students to grow as engaged citizens.
- Foster viewpoint diversity.
- Nurture collaborative & innovative problem solving.
- Motivate youth to vote & pursue public service.
- Be a resource for teachers & students.
- Nurture civic knowledge & engagement.
- Provide Professional Development (PD) on topics teachers need.
- Promote educator collaboration.
- Share educational resources.
- Listen to teachers.
- Develop diverse teacher-led discussion panels.
- Provide scholarly interpretations, content-rich presentations, & active learning workshops on civic education.
TN Civics Academy Shared Resources:
- Using a “Gateway Game” to Stimulate Student Interest and Build Foundational Knowledge by Alex Cohen, Jon Alden, and Jonathan Ring
- 2023 TN Secretary of State Civics
- Tennessee Blue Book
- National Archives: Educator Resources
- Studying the Past to Inform the Present and Shape the Future, National History Day
- The Business Case for Civics Education, Harvard Business Review White Paper
- A New Model for Civic Education in America’s Public Universities: The Institute of American Civics at the University of Tennessee by Marianne Wanamaker, William Lyons, John Scheb, and Hancen Sale