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Bennion Teachers' Workshop - Past Topics

Explore past topics for The Bennion Teachers' Workshop for the Perpetuation of Democratic Principles. This program is made possible by an endowment to Utah State University's Mountain West Center for Regional Studies. The endowment was created by Ione Bennion, a teacher and connunity activist, to "provide an atmosphere and the educational resources to explore the concepts upon which democracy is built, the conditions under which it flourishes, and the dangers to its existence." Taught by Utah State University faculty and guest speakers who represent the latest scholarship in the topics presented, the workshops focus on giving inservice and pre-inservice teachers practical tools that they can use in the classroom. 

2015 - Democracy in Asia: A Universal or American System?


2015 Bennion Brochure Cover

Asia is the most populous region of the globe with the world's largest economics after the United States, and yet most American students know very little about our Pacific neighbors. Eight renowned specialists assisted teachers in incorporating coverage of Asia into their classrooms by exploring the controversial attitudes towards and varied reception of democracy in Asian societies.

2014 - Journalism as a Tool for Education and Education as the Key to Sustaining Journalism

2014 Bennion Brochure Cover

Our nation is entering a post-professional media age, one in which the responsibilities of the free press is being bequeathed to average citizens engaging in "acts of journalism" on behalf of themselves, their communities, and their country. Teachers identified ways in which educators can encourage a sustained, robust, paticipatory press and investigated ways to integrate journalistic skills into core curriculum.

2013 Developing Students into Collaborative Citizens: Learning Civil Discourse and Democratic Decision-Making

2012 Bennion Brochure Cover

The ability to civilly and collaboratively make democratic decisions is often overlooked. Experts in the field of communication studies spent the week exploring the knowledge and skills of civil discourse and democratic decision-making that are a basic element of engaged citizenship. Teachers developed curricula to use in their own classrooms. 

2012 The Open Space of Democracy: How Place Writing Transforms Classrooms, Communities, and the World

2012 Bennion Workshop Brochure

Participants considered how democracy is not simply an idea, but a place. By looking to the land around us, we can better understand how democracy is always interdependent, situated, circular, and associative. Through close observation, we can write ourselves into our own landscapes, demonstrating our connections with place, the past, and each other.

 2011 - The Changing Course of Democracy: The Contested Meanings of a Political Idea

 2009 - Democracy in Transition: U.S. Presidential Elections, 1960-2008

 2008 - Balancing Liberty and Security in U.S. Foreign Policy: Past and Present, Does the War on Terrorism Change Everything?

 2007 - The Utah War: Teaching Controversial Subjects

 2006 - Patriotism  and  Protest:  Everyday  Encounters with  Democracy

 2005 - Politics and Media

 2004 - Democracy, Language, Ecology, and Inclusion in the Classroom

 2003 - Counting Every Vote, Making Every Vote Count

 2002 - Representation and Participation: Music, Poetry, and Democratic Ideals in the Classroom

 2001 - Reading, Reflection, and Respect: Building Democracy through Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults

 2000 - Fairness for Girls and Boys: Gender and Democratic Principles in America's Schools

 1995 - Roots of American Democracy

 1994 - Democracy in Transition in Contemporary Russia