Image by Jeswin Thomas

Social Justice and Civil Rights in the Civics Classroom

Before Students Run the World, They Must Run Your Classroom



June 14-15, 2022

School Teacher


8:30 am  - 11:30 am Central Time

Empty Classroom

Session Occurs on Zoom





Recorded Access Until August 15, 2022

This two day series will introduce audience members to the legislative semester and how a democratic student run classroom fosters critical thinking, authentic participation, civic engagement, and social and emotional learning that turns students into confident self-advocates and members of our democratic communities. Throughout “The Legislative Semester” students discover who they are, what social and political issues they are passionate about, and spend much of the semester sharing that passion with their peers through the congressional simulation process. This series will also cover the critical role and components that the individual teacher, teaching team, administrators, and building support staff contribute to the implementation and success of the greatest pedagogical approach to teaching civics education ever created.


The two day series will be broken down into the following 90 min segments:

  • An Overview of the Legislative Semester - Will provide an overview of the “Legislative Semester” including how democratic classrooms create students with a passion for civic engagement, power of personal agency, and the skills needed to advocate for change on social, political, and economic justice in the 21st Century. 

  • The Loom of the Legislative Semester - Detailed synopsis of how significant events and student play are woven into experiential learning, content delivery, reflection, and academic growth. Attendees will see how students learn to voice and advocate for solutions to society's problems that they are passionate about and why this approach to civics education is the most engaging class that students will likely encounter in their high school career. 

  • Rules Committee, Student Leadership, and the Heavy Lift - Set up the process for training student leadership for the Legislative Semester and its culminating events. We will also cover how best to turn your classroom into one where students run the space and their voices, leadership, and ownership of their learning reign supreme.

  • You have the Legislative Semester Up and Running, What’s Next? - The session will cover ideas and concepts for spin off courses, cross department collaborative relationships, community input and engagement opportunities, and the future of the Legislative Semester. Creativity, curriculum explosions, and huge ideas will dominate this session. There are no boundaries that cannot be overcome in an effort to create democratic spaces in our curriculum and pedagogy.


Andrew Hartman is a veteran social studies teacher in his 12th year who teaches at Middleton High School, just outside Madison, Wisconsin. In addition to being a community educator, Andrew is an elected member of the Village of Cross Plains Board of Trustees and serves as a public servant to the community in which he lives and teaches students. Andrew has been awarded several international fellowships to travel to, study in, and design curriculum to benefit students around the world. These took Andrew and his classrooms to the Korean Peninsula (Korea Society 2014), India (UW-Madison Department of South Asian Studies 2015), Japan (Keizai Koho 2017), Qatar & Oman (Qatar Foundation International 2018), and the United Arab Emirates (Foreign Affairs Council - Dallas Fort Worth / Embassy of the UAE, 2023). He received his Bachelors of Arts Degree from the University of Iowa in Political Science with a minor in East Asian Civilization and went on to complete his Masters Degree in Secondary Education at Edgewood College in Madison, WI. Andrew is a three time National Council for the Social Studies presenter and three time Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies presenter. During his career Andrew has acted as lead implementer and architect of both the Legislative Semester at Middleton High School and the Hip Hop Cooperative. The Hip Hop Cooperative is a comprehensive multidisciplinary program between the Social Studies, English, Physical Education, and Fine Arts Departments where students live, breathe, and create within the culture, history, and art form Hip Hop.

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Andrew Hartman