Laura Reinheimer Pasek's Election Unit
"At Jessica’s school, the Hebrew Day School in Ann Arbor, Michigan, presidential debates are taught as something you do, not watch. Election simulation encompasses every step: primaries, campaigning, conventions, debates, elections, and inauguration. And teachers say this technique has proven especially effective during this presidential election cycle. 'Turning to the debates of an historical election has allowed my students to think for themselves,' said Laura Pasek, a third- and fourth-grade general-studies teacher. 'Rather than recite back what adults think of Trump and Clinton, they’re thinking on their feet about the issues.'
"To teach a presidential election, Pasek decided to select an historical model. Reviewing various options, she chose the election of 1800—between incumbent Adams, a Federalist, and Jefferson, a Democratic Republican—partially because of its incredible resonance. Some of the issues then, such as the Alien and Sedition acts and the size and role of the government, had surprising parallels to current discussions on immigration and government. Notably, that election was nasty and partisan."
Read the entire Atlantic Monthly article.