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Online Civic Reasoning

Wednesday, September 23, 2020 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT

Student in Library

Presented by Michelle Luhtala, Library Department Chair, New Canaan High School, CT; Jennifer LaGarde, Author and Consultant; and Kristine Goldhawk, Social Studies Teacher, New Canaan High School, CT

Sponsored by Mackin Educational Resources

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“Nothing you can say will convince me otherwise.” This is a section heading in the first chapter of Facts Vs. Fiction: Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in the Age of Fake News, by Jennifer LaGarde and Darren Hudgins. As a follow-up to her July 2020 edWebinar, School Librarians Can Save Democracy, facilitator Michelle Luhtala interviews Jennifer about teaching critical thinking during a contentious presidential election season while facing a global pandemic, an economic crisis, national outcry for social justice reform, and devastating climate change.

The two are joined by social studies teacher and debate coach Kristine Goldhawk, who shares how she integrates critical thinking instruction and news literacy into her classroom and on the debate team. This session includes strategies to redress the “nothing you can say will convince me otherwise” mindset among young learners and highlight programs that empower students to feel politically empowered to become change makers.

This recorded edWebinar will be of interest to grades 6-12 educators across subject areas. 


Michelle LuhtalaAbout the Presenter

Michelle Luhtala, Library Department Chair at New Canaan High School in Connecticut, was one of five school librarians named as a “Mover and Shaker” by Library Journal in 2015. She is the winner of the 2011 “I Love My Librarian” Award and the Library Association’s 2010 Outstanding Librarian Award. The New Canaan High School Library won AASL’s National School Library Program of the year in 2010. Follow Michelle on Twitter @mluhtala.


Jennifer LaGardeJennifer LaGarde works with educators worldwide to develop innovative instructional practices. She holds a master’s degree in library science from Appalachian State University and National Board Certification in school library media. She has served as a classroom teacher, teacher librarian, digital teaching and learning specialist, and consultant for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation. Some of the awards and distinctions she has received include the ALA, New York Times and Carnegie Corporation’s “I Love My Librarian Award”; Library Journal Mover and Shaker; AASL Social Media Superstar: “Social Justice Defender”; and Salem Press Blog of The Year for The Adventures of Library Girl. Jennifer has published numerous articles on best educational practices for journals including Teacher Librarian, ISTE, School Library Connections and Knowledge Quest. Jennifer is coauthor with Darren Hudgins of the book Fact Vs. Fiction: Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in the Age of Fake News.


Kristine GoldhawkKristine Goldhawk is a high school social studies teacher in New Canaan, CT. She holds both a Bachelors in Politics and a Juris Doctor from Wake Forest University. Currently Kristine teaches civics, law and AP comparative government, all of which require the teaching of media literacy and critical news analysis. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Kristine is also the Steering Committee Chair and Debate Chair for the League of Women Voters of Stamford.



Join the Emerging Tech for Schools and Libraries community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

mackin educational resourcesMackin is one of the top providers of library and classroom materials for grades PK-12. Working with over 18,000 publishers and a database of nearly 3 million printed titles, and more than 1.9 million digital titles, Mackin supplies print books, eBooks, online educational databases, audiobooks and video resources to schools around the globe.



Wednesday, September 23, 2020
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT
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