iCivics Launches iCSL Professional Development in Miami

July 07, 2022

As we take this time to reflect on Independence Day, we want to acknowledge the role that those in public service and the military play in protecting so many of the freedoms we enjoy. The iCivics Civics, Service, and Leadership (iCSL) program aims to prepare students exploring careers in the military and public service with high-quality civic learning experiences that build independent thinking, media literacy, civility, civic knowledge and participation, and service.

An important component of iCSL is the professional development program. We work directly with teachers to understand the iCSL model and the resources available to them. Our teachers are also helping to shape the iCSL lens as teacher expertise will be incorporated into instructional materials.

We recently held our first professional development session with one of our pilot districts, Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Over the course of two days, we worked with a cohort of 12 Miami Master Teachers on the iCSL model and how to implement it in their classrooms. This model aims to work with teachers on developing a service and leadership lens while accessing iCivics resources and facilitating instruction that bridges the connections between civics, service, and leadership.

The Miami-Dade teachers walked away feeling confident in building these connections. They indicated the importance of iCSL in building character, inspiring civic engagement, and creating connections between content and real life.

Our constitutional democracy needs engaged participants with a strong foundation in civics and how the government works. This is especially true in the fields of military and public service. To this end, we are working with students and instructors in Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) and elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. 

As part of the iCSL Program, we will also be expanding the iCivics library of resources. This will include new online learning experiences such as five DBQuests that will engage students in a range of civic and historical topics, including Women in Service, the real consequences of fake news, U.S. territories, the judicial branch, and resistance to slavery. In addition to our curriculum, we are working with partners in the military community to create a volunteerism guide and civics fair guide, which will work to bring military and school communities together for engaged civic learning.

iCSL’s next steps are to provide professional development to Master Teachers at Prince William County Public Schools and kick off the pilot programs in Florida and Virginia. If you are interested in learning more about the program, reach out to us at iCSL@icivics.org!

The Department of Defense (DoD) and the National Defense Education Program (NDEP) have awarded the grant that will fund iCivics’ Civics, Service and Leadership program, designed to teach K–12 and JROTC students the foundational knowledge and skills needed to be engaged civic participants in a diverse United States.