We are doubling-down on the core values that led thinkLaw to be adopted by 40+ schools and organizations since our June 2015 launch, serving over 5,000 students in 6 states:
Deeper relationships– We give a lot, and expect a lot from our internal and external relationships.
Deeper purpose– We do work to make a difference. And if we are not making a difference, we dig deeper to figure out how we can.
Deeper understanding– We embrace conflict as an opening to find common ground. We ask “why” a lot to maintain clarity around our meaning.
Deeper engagement– We bring our full selves to this work. We do not leave the activist, family leader, or friend at home, because we understand that this is what makes us who we are personally and professionally.
As part of our commitment to going much deeper in 2017, we are excited to announce our latest initiative:
Teachers and students have reported extremely high levels of satisfaction with our first edition, excited to see students increase their critical thinking skills, habits and mindsets through a wide variety of engaging + rigorous learning activities based on real-life cases.
Students and teachers found these cases interesting, funny, scary, controversial, and extremely effective at helping students see problems and solutions from multiple perspectives, ask the right questions to find the right information, and make claims and support those claims with valid and relevant evidence. Who wouldn’t enjoy helping Subway defend itself in a lawsuit brought after a guy found out his 150 foot-long meatball subs weren’t quite 12 inches long or analyzing the merits of an aunt’s lawsuit against her 5 year old nephew who pulled out a chair on her and caused her to break her hip?
But as engaging and academically rigorous as thinkLaw Volume 1 is, we need to go deeper. We live in an extremely polarized society. We are struggling with alarming growth of “fake” news sources and extremely biased media outlets on both sides of the political spectrum. We are trying to serve students and families who are extremely afraid of what our new President’s policies and actions will mean for them. And we are about to face an unprecedented number of constitutional issues.
Teachers, now more than ever, must be equipped to help students think critically about their constitutional rights and how these rights impact their day-to-day lives.
This is why thinkLaw Volume 2: The Social Justice Edition, is going deeper by including highly-engaging, standard-aligned learning activities involving issues our students are already living and breathing on a daily basis. Immigration rights, policing/criminal justice issues, school segregation (and resegregation), bathroom bills, racial/religious profiling, voting rights, gun violence, and other core constitutional issues impacting their day-to-day lives.
We are still giving our teachers step-by-step guides and resources to deliver each of these lessons in under 20 minutes of prep time. And this edition will still be aligned for grades 5-12. We are so excited to see how this highly-relevant subject matter will improve our students’ critical thinking, writing, reading, and speaking skills and increase their civic and political engagement.
We are launching this in June 2017, after developing and testing it this Spring. But we need your help! What cases, issues or topics should we be sure in include in this edition? Leave a comment or question and let us know!
Click here to preorder thinkLaw Volume 2: The Social Justice Edition or to learn more about adopting both thinkLaw volumes to help your school close the critical thinking gap.