Arts are a Learning Catalyst

Welcome to Democracy's Laboratory

Democracy’s Laboratory will deliver professional development to teachers to upgrade their performance with two special populations of students in high-need classrooms … English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities. During the summer of 2009, four independent colleges and universities (Saint Thomas University in North Miami, Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Flagler College in St. Augustine and Beacon College in Leesburg), working with four diverse school districts (Miami-Dade, Duval, St. Johns and Lake) will host summer laboratory sessions for 100 teachers, district staff and faculty. The sessions will focus on: 1) Tactics and techniques to teach English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities more effectively; 2) Demonstrating those tactics and techniques to address the new Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for the Social Sciences at various grade levels; and 3) Incorporating American History, Geography, Government and Economics to enliven those lessons. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will develop from these laboratory sessions 6 modules that will be available online and distributed statewide. During the 2009 academic year, the partners will follow-up with the laboratory participants through 8 school-year sessions. Participating teachers in these sessions that pledge to become coaches in their school will receive coaching scholarships for school year study to expand their content and teaching skills. In 2010 and 2011, the partners will expand Democracy’s Laboratory into a Chautauqua Circuit Series with 8 expanded summer sessions of laboratory and faculty presentations. When completed in 2011, Democracy’s Laboratory will have reached more than 500 educators with these social sciences lessons to engage and educate English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities more effectively.