2022 Fall Civics Educator Conference

2022 Fall Civics Educator Conference

Register Here

October 27th, 2022

Clarke Building: (CB) 101

Teacher Check-In: 10:00 a.m.

Conference Starts: 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Utah Valley University, Orem Campus

Civic Thought & Leadership Initive

Utah social studies teachers are invited to a professional development conference focused on civic education hosted by UVU's Center for Constitutional Studies as part of its Civic Thought & Leadership Initiative and its K-12 Constitutional Literacy Initiative.  

About the Conference

When Alexis de Tocqueville visited America in the 1830s, he was astonished at the bustling associational life surrounding everyday Americans: every problem had a cooperative, citizen-led organization to solve it. He concluded that American democracy worked because the "art of associating" had been "developed and perfected among them." Research today supports Tocqueville's claim, with studies suggesting that social cohesion and civic trust (collectively called "social capital") are indeed the fruits of deep relationships with fellow citizens. Yet today, we are simultaneously experiencing low levels of associational life and even lower levels of social cohesion and civic trust, leading to increased polarization and causticity in the public sphere. 


This conference will address the role of teachers in bridging political differences and bonding citizens together through the common cause of cultivating citizenship. Presentations will cover why civic relationships are so important, hands-on ways teachers can foster these relationships among student and families across political differences, and lesson plans for teaching these principles in the classroom.


The conference keynote will be delivered by bestselling author and Harvard professor Arthur C. Brooks, titled "Love your Enemies." 


10:00 - 10:30 am Check-In

10:30 - 11:00 am - Introduction: "Civic Relationships and Why They Matter"

Dr. Robert Burton, Director of the Civic Thought and Leadership Initiative at UVU's Center for Constitutional Studies

11:00 am to 12:00 pm - Session 1: "Social Capital in Utah and the Role of Teachers"

Peter Reichard, President of the Utah Foundation

12:15 - 1:45 pm - Fulton Library Lakeview Room -  Lunch presentation: The "Gap Problem" and the State of Civics Education in Utah"

Dr. Lisa Halverson, Civics Education Fellow at UVU's Center for Constitutional Studies

1:00 - 2:30 pm Session 2: "Teaching Relationship Building Through American History"

Dr. Jeff Nokes, Professor of History at Brigham Young University

2:30 - 2:45 pm - Break

2:45 - 4:15 pm Session 3: "Building Bridges Across Political Divides: the Braver Angels Method"

Dr. Glori Smith, Civics Education Fellow at UVU's Center for Constitutional Studies

Erika Munson, Braver Angels State Coordinator for Utah

4:15 - 4:30 - Closing Discussion

Dr. Robert Burton, Director of the Civic Thought and Leadership Initiative at UVU's Center for Constitutional Studies

5:15 - 6:00 VIP Reception: Teachers attending the conference and invited guests

6:00 - 7:00 pm Evening Keynote Address: "Love Your Enemies"

Dr. Arthur C. Brooks, Harvard Kennedy School

Register Here

In order to fulfill the purpose of the Civic Thought and Leadership Initiative passed in the Utah State Legislature, this conference will provide professional development and assist in the PLC process by helping teachers determine essential standards and identify foundational prerequisite skills to develop targeted instruction. The conference will empower teachers to understand complex government principles by learning from experts in the field.

Participants can earn up to 9 relicensure credits.

The Center for Constitutional Studies will offer a Visa gift card to help offset travel to UVU for conference attendees and lunch will be provided.

The Center will also reimburse schools for the cost of any substitute teachers needed to cover for teacher attendees. Please work with your schools to request the sub for your class and let Kari Dennis know that you will be needing one kari.dennis@uvu.edu.

This conference is made possible by the Utah Legislature through the 2021 House Bill 327, which established and funded the Civic Thought & Leadership Initiative within the Center for Constitutional Studies at UVU. The initiative was created to "facilitate nonpartisan political discussion and provide civic education and research" by "provid[ing] resources to students, outside academic institutions, government agencies, and other persons regarding civic affairs; and foster[ing] thoughtful civic engagement in Utah and the surrounding region."

To read the full text of HB 327, click on the following link: https://le.utah.gov/~2021/bills/static/HB0327.html