The previous sections have outlined the Educational Framework of the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy - its rationale, content, and standards.
The Educational Framework continues with the first of several planned Lesson Starters - not complete lessons in themselves, but examples of how the National Center's Educational Framework can be used to construct lessons that embody the National Center's distinctive approach to democracy education.
A number of other National Center resources will help put the Educational Framework into action.
The Lesson Starters applies the Educational Framework by offering a lesson on World War II, one in a planned series of such lessons on the "fight for democracy" that will elucidate upon the rationale and content and exemplify the Educational Framework's method.
This inventive project engages youth media groups from across the country to present a variety of actual dilemmas related to the freedom of expression and the kinds of decisions that young people have to make. The resulting video production and Viewer's Guide can be used in the classroom to challenge and stimulate young people to think critically, understand that important issues are complex, and realize that each of us, as individuals and with each other, has the power and responsibility to shape a just world.
Drawn from an interactive installation at the National Center in Los Angeles, Fighting for Democracy serves as an educational experience for teachers and students that demonstrates how diverse peoples made choices and took action to help reshape the tenets and meanings of American democracy, freedom, and liberty. Through the voices of those denied power and privilege in America, it analyzes the tough choices and predicaments that many of these young men and women faced during World War II: being asked to fight for democratic principles abroad while inequality and discrimination existed at home.
The National Center has produced materials to help educators with their students in the substantive examination of issues related to diversity and democracy. The Educator Toolkit was conceived and designed as a flexible, evolving resource that is both functional and practical, yet can be receptive to change, expansion and further development by input from educators nationally. Its goal is to engage educators and youth in exploring the contributions of culturally and ethnically diverse individuals and communities to the shaping of American democracy.
The National Center website includes communication tools to help educators connect with colleagues and share experiences, ideas, and materials related to democracy education. The tools include discussion boards, weblogs, interactive polls, and an area where students and others can upload information about their own projects.