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Program in the Humanities

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

CEC News

Check out this month’s CEC News!

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November 2015 – Happy Thanksgiving and Veteran’s Day 

FEATURED Resources: Talkin’ Tar Heel: Exploring the History and Diversity of North Carolina

Do you know what a “buddyrow” is? If someone tells you a poster on your classroom wall is a little “sigogglin,” what do they mean? Now teachers can find out what all this means with our new “Talkin’ Tar Heel: Exploring the History and Diversity of North Carolina” curriculum. Inspired by the book, Talkin’ Tar Heel: How Our Voices Tell the Story of North Carolina by Dr. Walt Wolfram and Dr. Jeffrey Reaser, this curriculum will help students learn about North Carolina’s fascinating history through the lense of linguistics. Whether your students are North Carolina natives or a “dingbatters,” they’ll enjoy learning about our state’s rich history.

News Updates

1) If you could RENAME the NC Civic Education Consortium, what would you call us?
Since 2004, the Civic Education Consortium at UNC-Chapel Hill has dedicated itself to serving North Carolina’s amazing, hard-working, creative, and dedicated teachers. We have tried to bend and stretch and grow to meet the needs of K-12 educators throughout the years and many of our programs and lesson plan ideas are based on requests and ideas provided by YOU! And while we still cover topics related to civic education, our 2012 move from the UNC School of Government to the UNC Program in the Humanities allowed us to further broaden the topics we offer. In the spirit of progress, we are seeking a NEW NAME for the NC Civic Education Consortium, one that makes it clear who our most important partners are (K-12 educators), one that better shows the broad nature of our work, and also a name that reflects our connection to UNC-Chapel Hill. Since you – our users and participants and collaborators and friends – know us better than anyone, we’d love to hear your ideas for our NEW NAME! (And don’t worry, will always remain active and will redirect to whatever our new site name might become.)
Please send your thoughts and ideas for a new name for the NC Civic Education Consortium to Christie Norris at And keep your eyes peeled for the launch of our new name in 2016!

Current Opportunities

1) Whose ‘More Perfect Union?’ Choices, Conflicts & Controversies in 18th Century America
Friday, February 19:  9:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Saturday, February 20:  8:45 AM – 4:30 PM
NC Museum of History, Raleigh
Part of the Hidden Histories: What Your Textbook Left Out series

Made possible by a grant from the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust

“‘We the people, in order to form a more perfect union…’ And yet words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States. What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part…to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time.” ~President Barack Obama

War, revolution, enslavement, debates over human rights, clashes of political ideologies – 18th Century America was no stranger to conflict and controversy, and many choices and decisions made throughout the 1700s had profound implications for the type of country America was, and would become. Join the NC Museum of History and the UNC Civic Education Consortium, in a special collaboration with George Washington’s Mount Vernon, for a critical examination of issues that confronted not only the framers of the Constitution, but Indigenous People, those enslaved, women, and other equally important voices.

Throughout the agenda, teachers will be provided the opportunity to return to the role of students themselves as they expand their content knowledge in discussions and presentations from visiting scholars, local professors, authors, and other content experts who will cover topics from the French and Indian War, to controversies in the making of the Constitution, to the complicated fight for freedom from slavery.

Participants will receive a copy of Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution and enjoy a special session with the book’s author, Dr. Kathleen DuVal. “In Independence Lost, [Dr. DuVal] recounts an untold story as rich and significant as that of the Founding Fathers: the history of the Revolutionary Era as experienced by slaves, American Indians, women, and British loyalists living on Florida’s Gulf Coast.” Time will also be provided to make crucial connections to modern society as we focus on Thomas Jefferson’s belief that “Every constitution, then, and every law, naturally expires at the end of nineteen years. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force, and not of right.”

Teachers will also have practical opportunities to explore interactive strategies and lesson plans from the George Washington Teacher Institute and the Civic Education Consortium, designed to encourage critical thinking and interactive participation among all levels of students.

Whose “More Perfect Union?” will provide attendees a more comprehensive understanding of the issues that challenged diverse individuals as they chose various paths both for their own lives, and for a burgeoning nation as a whole. Middle and high school social studies teachers don’t want miss this newest installment of the acclaimed Hidden Histories series on February 19-20, 2016!


  • 1.2 Renewal Credits
  • Access to historical experts
  • A copy of Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution
  • Lesson plans, teaching ideas, and pedagogical training
  • Lunch on Feb. 19; breakfast & lunch on Feb. 20
  • Single occupancy hotel accommodations can be requested for Friday night for participants residing more than 90 round-trip miles from the NC Museum of History in Raleigh.  Additionally, participants residing more than 300 round trip miles from the NC Museum of History can request a single-occupancy room for Thursday evening as well.
    • If you do not meet the mileage requirements but have special circumstances for which you would like to request a room, you can inquire by contacting Paul Bonnici at
  • Substitute scholarships are available for teachers whose schools lack substitute funding. To request a substitute, follow the procedure described on the registration form.

To register, download the registration form here.

 2. “Celebrate Social Responsibility” – Register Now for the 2016 NC Social Studies Conference in Greensboro
Dates: Feburary 25 – 26, 2016
Location: Koury Convention Center, Greensboro

The 2016 North Carolina Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference will feature a series of workshop sessions on topics that reflect on this year’s theme, “Celebrate Social Responsibility”, as well as developments in social studies education from around the state and nation.

To register, visit

3. Join the NCCSS Board and Help Make a Difference for NC Social Studies Teachers
Deadline: December 18, 2015

In February 2016, members of the North Carolina Council for the Social Studies will hold elections for the offices of Recording Secretary and three members of the Executive Board to guide the work of NCCSS. This is a great way to enhance your leadership in the Evaluation process. We need extraordinary social studies educators like you to help lead this professional organization. The typical commitment is 4 to 5 Saturday morning meetings per year. Travel expenses are set at the state rate. In addition to serving as an Executive Council member, the President-Elect is responsible for the preparation of the Annual Conference Program. The Treasurer is responsible for all financial transactions of NCCSS including bank, credit card, and tax related issues. Executive Board members serve the Council in the decision making process as well as chairing standing and ad hoc committees for the Council. Service on the Executive Council is very rewarding, challenging, stimulating, and a lot of fun.

Please indicate your interest by completing a candidate information form here by December 18, 2015.

If your have questions, please contact Paul Bonnici at

4. The North Carolina Council for the Social Studies Announces Grants, Awards, and Scholarships for Current and Pre-Service Social Studies Teachers
Deadline for all awards: December 10, 2015

The North Carolina Council for the Social Studies Awards Program seeks to recognize and honor achievements in Social Studies Education. Several awards are given at our annual State Conference in February.

NCCSS Student Teacher Scholarship: The North Carolina Council for the Social Studies offers a $1,000.00 scholarship to an undergraduate student in North Carolina who will be student teaching in social studies in 2015 or 2016. Eligibility requirements and applications are posted on the NCCSS website here:

NCCSS Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year Award; The North Carolina Council for the Social Studies recognizes exemplary teaching in the field of social studies and will recognize one outstanding social studies teacher in 2016. The winner of the 2016 Social Studies Teacher of the Year Award will be presented an award check for $100 at the annual State-wide Social Studies Conference luncheon on Thursday, February 25, 2016. In addition, the winner is encouraged to share his/her expertise and experiences by presenting a session topic of his/her choice at the 2017 annual Conference; if the winner chooses to do so, the NCCSS will also waive the Conference registration fee in 2017. Selection criteria and nomination forms are posted on the NCCSS website here:

NCCSS Teacher Grants: The North Carolina Council for the Social Studies provides grants of up to $1,000 to help teachers make an even greater impact in their classroom, school district, and community through innovative social studies programs. Funding priorities, guidelines, and an application are posted on the NCCSS website here:

5. ABA Webinar featuring the CEC’s Own Christie Norris!!
Last month, the American Bar Association sponsored a webinar, Civility & Free Expression: Developing a Public Dialogue through the Arts, featuring the CEC’s own, Christie Norris. This webinar was a discussion on how the arts can be used as a starting point for grounding meaningful community conversations.  It focused on the question, “how can the arts be used as a foundation for public dialogue?”Christie and co-panelists, actor/director Mike Wiley and Hallie Gordon, Artistic Director for Steppenwolf for Young Adults, shared their experiences with being involved in community programming that utilized the arts to foster conversations on contemporary and controversial issues.  They will also shared lessons learned and best practices to consider when facilitating a public dialogue through the arts.You can access the archived discussion via the ABA’s website.

6. National Humanities Center is searching for a Vice President for Education Programs
The National Humanities Center, in Research Triangle Park, NC, is seeking a new Vice President for Educational Programs.

The National Humanities Center is a private, nonprofit organization, and the only independent institute exclusively dedicated to advanced study in the humanities. We seek a visionary leader who can take our successful programs for pre-collegiate and collegiate instruction to the next level. A capacity for generating funding through grants and donor support is important.

The ideal candidate will bring a passion for the humanities, and will be driven by a desire to enhance understanding and respect for the important role of humanistic values in our society. The candidate will have experience teaching in both a traditional and web-enabled context, and will bring creative energy to the challenge of reaching across the country and the world to broaden and strengthen the impact of humanities education. The candidate will have demonstrated ability to work effectively with distinguished scholars to craft creative ways to share their deep knowledge of important subjects with students, faculty and the public. Competitive compensation. Official start date: July 1.

Please submit electronically a letter, cv, and the names of three references by November 20, 2015 to:

7. Some Great Opportunities from Generation Nation

Apply now for Youth Lead CLT-Meck

Do you know an emerging civic leader in grades 9-10? Teens are invited to apply to be a part of Youth Lead Charlotte-Mecklenburg Class of 2016.
Through YLCM, teens learn how the community works, understand key civic issues and perspectives, collaborate with students from other schools and backgrounds, and develop knowledge and skills needed by a new generation of Charlotte-Mecklenburg leaders. After completing YLCM, teens continue their civic leadership through the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Youth Council, also a program of GenerationNation.
Learn more and apply by November 30 for the Winter/Spring 2016 program

Students build civic literacy through Election 2015

Over 25,000 Charlotte-Mecklenburg students put civics into action through GenerationNation’s mock election program.  Throughout October and November, they used Election 2015 as a civic learning opportunity focused on civic literacy. They read about and interviewed the candidates, learned about local government and community issues, analyzed information, followed news, and took action by casting their own mock ballots (and earning their own I Voted stickers) at school or in community libraries and polling places, and by participating in service-learning. Learn more and see the results of the student election

Educators Network

Encourage K-12 teachers to join the GenerationNation Educators Network. GenerationNation offers free standards-based resources and activities that build civic literacy and leadership from an early age. Teachers receive timely standards-based educational resources, student learning opportunities, easy tips for integrating civic literacy into the classroom, professional development, and more. Sign up for the Educators Network

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