Rita-Marie Murphy on Immigration Forum

2 Nov

Rita-Marie Murphy graciously invited our Democracy Fellows into her classroom at Patchogue High School to moderate a forum on immigration earlier this month.  Below are her thoughts on the forum and importance of deliberation in the classroom.

Participating in the National Issues Forum was a wonderfully rewarding experience for me and my Advanced Placement Government and Politics students.  Students were introduced to the very valuable skill of deliberation.  Students were taught how to listen to the viewpoints of others, summarize them, and consider the needs of all when deciding public policy matters.  Such a skill is vital to the success of a democracy.  Students were introduced to the public policy issue of immigration and were able to summarize the various viewpoints by reading the National Issues Forum guide on “Immigration-How to fix a system in crisis.”  The issues guide were well-written, concise and contained reader friendly graphs and charts.  As a result, students came to the forum prepared to discuss this issue with true merit.  They were able to weigh to costs and the benefits, consider tradeoffs and compromises.  By participating in the National Issues Forum on Immigration, I am confident that students gained a well-rounded view of an important American public policy issue.  The National Issues Forum gave students the ability to identify and discuss a pressing matter to their community and country with respect to the needs and concerns of others.  Participating in the National Issues Forum was both enriching and educational.   I would highly recommend this program to other teachers!

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