Incorporating Politics and Civic Engagement Into the Classroom R. Michael Walsh Associate Professor, Communication Arts Community College of Baltimore County Baltimore, Maryland Contact: 443-840-3613 [email protected] Communications 101 The four units: Principles of Communication Interpersonal Communication Small Group Communication Public Speaking Honors Program: 1) Promote active learning and critical thinking 2) Further develop skills in verbal and written communication 3) Encourage independent discovery 4) Foster analytical thinking and creativity The Honors Projects Rock the Vote 2008 Presidential Campaign Candidates Night Oral History of Bethlehem Steele Mill/Turner Station Website Changing Our Ways: A Student Lifestyle Experiment Rock the Vote Received certification from the Baltimore County Board of Elections Visited classrooms and gave a 5 minute speech Collected the registrations Organized a Rock the Vote event 250 people were registered to vote! 2008 Presidential Campaign Researched each of the candidates Gave presentations advocating for one of the candidates Participated in a panel discussion Read Peggy Noonan’s On Speaking Well Candidates’ Night Drafted the invitations Invited County Executive, Delegate, Senate, County Council candidates Organized the event Developed and asked the questions to panel Read On Speaking Well Oral History of Bethlehem Steel Mill/ Turner Station Website Interviewed past and present Steel Mill workers Compiled interviews into a video Created a website for Turner Station Organized an event Read Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Changing Our Ways: A Student Lifestyle Experiment Assisted with Trash Olympics at local elementary school Assisted in the Green House Gave up meat, television, water bottles for a week Organized event Read Colin Beavan’s No Impact Man Gave presentations in class using themes from book Additional Politically-Themed Assignment Campaign Speech Become a fictional person giving factual information Develop qualifications (work experience, volunteer/education) appropriate for position Investigate the position and the issues Highlight three important issues you would address if elected Campaign Speech Sample Scenarios • You are a 23 year old college graduate with no political experience. You have the ability to be a successful delegate in the House of Delegates. • You are running for a position on the Board of Education. You have been an advocate for children for 15 years, including serving as the countywide PTA chairperson for 5 years. • You have been a pretty successful and popular member of the county delegation and were pulled over with a DUI. You paid your debt and apologized to the public. You are running for re-election and hope that the voters will forgive you. Campaign Speech Sample Scenarios • You are running for re-election on the County Council and have been recently accused of using tax payer money to finance your campaign. This is not true. Your opponent will say anything to win. • You are running for States Attorney and have been an attorney for 15 years. Voters say that crime is their number one concern. Additional Environmentally-Themed Assignments Persuasive Speech Select a topic Follow the issue for several weeks Select three articles and write an article summary using MLA format Students will use resource guide created by the librarian Create a bibliography Articles summaries will be used to develop persuasive 7-8 minute presentation Persuasive Speech Topics SB236 Septics Bill (Why we should support the SB236 bill) Energy Production usage (Why we should use solar energy) International approach to sustainability (Select a country and persuade us to follow their lead) International business (Select one business …like WalMart…and persuade us to boycott their business because of environmentally unfriendly practices) Presidential Campaign (Select a current candidate for president and support or oppose one of his/her environmental issues that will positively/negatively impact the world) American consumerism (Why consumerism is hurting our environment) Supplemental Materials Mass Communications Course Evaluate the impact of historical and emerging media as aesthetic art forms in the Humanities Explore how the media reflect and inspire cultural, political, and ethical norms Distinguish, discuss, and estimate the unique effectiveness of different media formats Group Project Work in groups of 4-5 students Appoint a project manager Select an organization or issue to support Create and implement an event designed to raise awareness or funds Develop a promotional campaign using three forms of media Develop a budget Assess outcome of event Give a final presentation Issues/Organizations Juvenile Diabetes/ADA Toys for Tots Haiti Henrietta Lacks Scholarship Earth Day/Sustainability Day Soles for Souls Maryland Zoo World AIDS Day Special Olympics Autism Speaks American Cancer Society Domestic Violence Bread and Cheese Cleanup Stiggy’s Dogs Types of Events Booths at the End-of-the Year Picnic Talent Show Small Circus for Kids Demonstrations (self defense) Community Events (parades, booths) Walks and Fundraisers Performances (musical, dance) Creek Cleanups Outcome Total Raised: $12,000 (and they learned a lot too!) Partnerships Dundalk Chamber of Commerce Dundalk Renaissance Corporation Non-profit organizations Fleming Senior Center Local businesses Elementary Schools Churches Bread and Cheese Creek Cleanup CCBC Student Life Elmo! Earth Week Special Olympics Maryland Zoo/Breast Cancer Creek Cleanup/Toys For Tots Earth Week/Speaker’s Bureau Other Great Events! What you need to do Work with Student Life (budget, direction) Identify outside organizations willing to partner (develop a mutually beneficial experience) Identify community events (easier to be a part of then to plan from scratch) Determine unique aspects/issues in community (historical, economic, lifestyle) Empower students but manage them (don’t assume they are fine without you) Plan, Plan, Plan (must be very focused and organized) What Students Learn Government, Politics, Human Rights Local, National, and International Issues Write, Speak, Evaluate, Create, Lead Giving back to the community Care for others and themselves! Thank you!