April 22, 2024
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April 22, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Historical Figures Debate American Democracy At The Idea School

Led by Nancy Edelman, The Idea School’s head of humanities, the sophomore and junior humanities classes held their first summit in American history, exploring the questions: What is American democracy and what should it be? What does democracy mean to you today?

Each student attended as a different American president or historical figure that they have been researching. In character, the students were posed these two important questions as they related to American democracy and were asked to answer and debate with each other in the voices of their respective characters. Students heard from the Great Peacemaker, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Andrew Jackson, Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, JFK, Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama and more. Students opened by introducing who they were, what they had accomplished and what democracy meant to them. They then asked each other deeper questions about their backgrounds, activism and policies.

The Summit on American Democracy, taught in this project-based learning way, allowed the students to connect directly with history and understand how democracy has evolved and the influence that our nation’s leaders had on its evolution. Moreover, the students had an amazing time learning about their characters and bringing them to life.

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