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Institute of the North partnership strengthens Alaska Studies program

By | March 27, 2012 - 11:26 am

Through a partnership with the Institute of the North, Nils Andreassen, Karlin Itchoak and Sophie Wiepking Brown worked with Pamela Orme, ASD Social Studies Curriculum Coordinator, to bring about a unique course for Alaska Studies teachers.

This course entitled We the People of Alaska was offered at a low cost since the instruction was provided for free by guest speakers coordinated by the Institute. They also paid for all the teachers who were willing to implement the We the People senate legislative hearing process into their classes this semester!

The outstanding speakers and their topics included:

School Board President Gretchen Guess recognizes Cindy Roberts and Ermalee Hickel for their donation of a copy of “Cracking the Code 2012: A Citizen’s Guide to the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Discussion” to every secondary school library.

• John Havelock former Attorney General – Governance;

• Dick Mylius Director, Division of Mining, Land & Water – Natural Resources of Alaska;

• Sally Gilbert ANILCA expert – Natural Resources;

• Dr. Scott Goldsmith, ISER economist – Alaska Economy;

• Dr. Steve Haycox UAA Historian the Alaska Model;

• Mara Kimmel- UAA professor of Political Science – the Alaska Constitution, Constitutionalism, and Citizenship;

• Liz Medicine Crow, First Alaskans Institute – Native issues;

• Malcolm Roberts – personal Alaska stories from working with Governor Wally Hickel for years;

• Cindy Roberts – discussion of her recently published book, Cracking the Code 2012: A Citizen’s Guide to the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Discussion;

• and Ermalee Hickel, First Lady of Alaska – stories of historic events in which she participated.

This much needed course has helped Alaska Studies teachers gain a stronger foundation and broader insights to share with their students. Through this partnership, the Institute of the North is strengthening the Alaska Studies program and serving as catalyst to provide a

School Board President Gretchen Guess recognizes Cindy Roberts and Ermalee Hickel for their donation of a copy of “Cracking the Code 2012: A Citizen’s Guide to the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Discussion” to every secondary school library.

much needed paradigm shift towards this class. The teachers who participated feel what they teach is valid and vital for preparing students as citizens in the State of Alaska.

The goals of the program are as follows:

• Stronger civic and political engagement

• Provide a foundation from which students can gain a greater understanding of the current issues facing our state

• Students inspired by their own learning and investigation

• Develop teamwork skills through problem-solving

• Demonstrate critical thinking skills by thoroughly understanding a diverse array of topics

This same course will be offered during the ASD Summer Academy to provide this opportunity to more Alaska Studies teachers. The Institute of the North plans to provide an actual Senate legislative hearing competition in Fall 2012 and to invite participation by Alaska Studies students. The winners of the competition will be flown to Juneau to present to our Governor and Legislature in the Spring 2013. This is an amazing opportunity for our youth provided by one of our truly great School Business Partners.

About Anchorage School Business Partnership

Anchorage School Business Partnership started in 1991 and has since grown to over 540 partnerships with an economic value of over $2.5 million. They range from a one person business to large organizations such as BP and FedEx. The organization is supported by both the Anchorage School District and the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce.

www.asdk12.org/depts/sbp

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