B1. "Religion in Indian Politics"
Radha Kumar, Syracuse University
Back by popular demand from last year! Learning about the world’s largest democracy, India, always captivates our students’ imagination. Throughout K-12, but particularly 3rd, 6th, and 9th grades, students begin to examine the intersections of culture, religion, geography and politics and India is a rich case study in these matters. Syracuse University Assistant Professor Rada Kumar’s presentation will examine the explosive place of religion in contemporary Indian politics. Is the conflict between India’s Hindu and Muslim communities a stubborn residue from the premodern past? This presentation argues that far from being a characteristic of India’s past, sectarian conflict is in fact largely a product of colonial and post-colonial politics. Here we’ll interpret the evidence provided by Professor Kumar regarding the intersection of religion and politics in India and examine the impact on India’s domestic and foreign policy.
B2. "The Importance of the Social Studies Practices in Classrooms K-8"
Patricia Polan, NYS Department of Education
The myth so often is that if it isn’t tested, the urgency for Social Studies fails to gain momentum in the primary grades. The reality, however, is that the NYS Framework is vertically articulated so that all grade-levels prepare students with content and skills that impact their success – not just on Social Studies regents exams, but also in other disciplines, especially where literacy is emphasized. 10-Year veteran NYSED Social Studies Associate for Instructional Services, Patricia Polan, is especially excited to emphasize ways in which the 6 SS Practices can take center stage in a K-8 classroom, especially economics, geography and civics. She will help all teachers build an understanding of and strategies for implementing these practices, she also hopes to have participants share their classroom success stories with social studies. State Ed, administrators, and teachers K-12 are partners in building the citizens of the future – let’s discuss the best ways to make this work together.
B3. "Polarization of Our Two-Party System"
Christopher Faricy, Syracuse University
Teachers know that the 2016 Election has caused many to question the legitimacy and effectiveness of our political process. But is there more to it? Professor Chris Faricy has broad expertise in examining the dynamics of political parties, economy and public policy. The author of Welfare for the Wealthy: Parties, Social Spending and Inequality in the U.S, Professor Faricy examines how political party power influences both public spending and private subsidies and how in turn, these changes effect inequality. Join the discussion here and consider the impact of political polarization on government, but also on social discourse and even our ability to work effectively with students with a broad range of political ideas. This session will be helpful to teachers of 11th and 12th grade, but civic participation begins at an early age and all grade-levels K-12 are encouraged to consider information that informs their own understanding of the political climate surrounding our classrooms.
B4. "CONSENSUS: Is the Time Right for Municipal Modernization in CNY?"
Kathy Richardson, Bond, Schoeneck and King
Kathy Richardson is a former math educator from J-D High School and an attorney with the firm Bond, Schoeneck and King. As a member of Consensus, the Commission that is studying Onondaga County Government at all levels, Kathy knows how critical a sense of community is to civic identity and participation and how essential it is to meet our region’s 21st century needs by creating more effective and efficient government. How many governments exist in our county? How many are duplicating what the other guys are doing? What would be lost if many of these governments are merged? What might be gained? Student interest in taking informed action can begin by following the ongoing work conducted by CONSENSUS . Learning about their evidence, their process and their outcomes has the potential to enrich and elevate conversations about local communities and government – like police & fire departments, legislators, economic developers – and spark ideas for PBL and authentic learning opportunities. This conversation will be a great compliment to teachers in all grades K-12, but especially K-2 and 11-12, where civic participation is a direct focus of the NYS Framework.