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Citizen Dialogue in the Digital Age:

How to keep our republic vibrant in the age of “fake news” and Twitter rants

Professional Development in Critical Media Literacy, Argument Writing, and Civil Discourse for Teachers of Literacy or Social Studies in Grades 5-12

Institute Presenters will include David Lawson and Carrie Gaffney from the Hoosier Writing Project, Dr. Phillip VanFossen from the Ackerman Center for Democratic Citizenship, and others.

Date: June 11-15, 2018 8am – 4pm  Beering Hall, Purdue University
Application Deadline: Friday, April 13, 2018

What is the role of schools in supporting a vibrant democratic process?
How do we prepare students to be responsible, engaged citizens?
How do we teach students to think independently and rationally about what they see in the media?
How do we help students transfer academic literacy skills to their interactions as citizens?

Participants will receive:

  • five days of intensive professional development at no cost
  • resources and materials to support implementation
  • three graduate credits upon completion (see requirements below)
  • parking permits and lunches

Participants will develop:

  • strategies for fostering civil discourse and working with controversial issues in the classroom
  • strategies for teaching critical media literacy and argument writing
  • instructional activities which support student transfer of academic skills to active citizenship

Participant Responsibilities:

  • Actively participate in all five days of the Institute from 8 am to 4 pm.
  • During the Institute, teachers will design, share, and implement learning activities in which students will transfer and apply critical media literacy and argument writing skills in a citizenship context.
  • During the 2018-19 school year, implement those plans and invite Institute staff to observe during your instruction.
  • After teaching, submit a brief (3-5 page) summary of your implementation, personal reflection, and future goals for development. Graduate Credit cannot be awarded unless the Implementation Report is received by May 1, 2019.

Tentative Institute Outline (show/hide)

Application Process (show/hide)


Hosted by

The Ackerman CenterCLEAR

James F. Ackerman Center and Center for Literacy Education and Research