Justice Learning is an innovative, issue-based approach for engaging high school students in informed political discourse. The web site uses audio from the Justice Talking radio show and articles from The New York Times to teach students about reasoned debate and the often-conflicting values inherent in our democracy. The web site includes articles, editorials and oral debate from the nation's finest journalists and advocates. All of the material is supported by age-appropriate summaries and additional links. In addition, for each covered issue, the site includes curricular material from The New York Times Learning Network for high school teachers and detailed information about how each of the institutions of democracy (the courts, the Congress, the presidency, the press and the schools) affect the issue. Much of the traditional civics curricula begin with an historical perspective and move forward. The lessons start from a point distant from students' lives. Justice Learning reverses traditional methods by starting with current issues that directly affect their lives. The curricula engage them early with a multimedia set of online materials and then relate it to the historical context that generated it. In doing so, the project incorporates into its methodology the new reality of where students turn for information and how they learn.
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