11:32 AM

Institute for Missouri teachers on civil rights shows value of virtual learning

Missouri teachers who specifically teach American history, government and civics gained insights and teaching methodologies when it comes to Civil Rights through The Missouri Bar’s Summer Institute held June 23-26. The institute, which is offered annually, is hosted by the state bar’s citizenship education program.  

Dr. Tony Simones, the program’s director, said the pandemic made it imperative to move to a distance learning format. He said despite the switch to an online platform, The Summer Institute was well attended by 36 teachers across the state, representing both public and parochial schools, all receiving educational training on civil rights. 

Simones said the teachers reporting the remote learning modevaluable as online education becomes more important, especially during the pandemic.  

“It is important to help educators keep up to date with new training mechanisms and content as well as help our next generation of citizens understand the background of civil rights in our country,” Simones said. 

Simones collaborated with veterans of prior institutes, Nisan Chavkin and Russ Sackreiter, to plan sessions and develop materials. The institute covered historical and current civil rights movements including the first Civil Rights Acts following the Civil Warwomen’s suffrage rights, and recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions regarding the LGBTQ communitySimones said participants were provided information and teaching methodologies for a wide range of relevant issues.  

Significant events have been taking place since spring – events that students will have questions about,” Simones said. “Now, teachers will be more prepared to address these vital questions in the fall. 

Simones added that while the continued spread of COVID-19 may prevent face-to-face meetings, The Missouri Bar’s online and virtual programming may reach teachers who simply were not able to attend in-person courses before. 

For more information about upcoming educational trainings and resources for teachers by The Missouri Bar Citizenship Education program, visit MissouriLawyersHelp.org.  For a link to the presentations from the 2020 Summer Institute, click here.