Leading Education Organizations Partner To Build Composer, A Digital Tool For Teaching Citizenship Through Civics, Social Justice, SEL, And Global Competence
Composer is a collaborative initiative created by High Resolves, Facing History and Ourselves, iCivics, Generation Citizen, and Peace First that lets educators in any setting search, create, and sequence high-impact citizenship education content to use with students.
SAN FRANCISCO, April 2, 2020 — Five of the world’s leading citizenship education organizations today launched Composer, a digital tool that gives educators free and easy access to the top citizenship education resources from around the world, and supports curriculum design grounded in learning science.
Composer is the result of a collaboration between High Resolves, Facing History and Ourselves, iCivics, Generation Citizen, and Peace First. These providers represent the initial core group behind a growing, collaborative ecosystem that now includes more than two dozen leading content providers committed to ensuring all students have access to high quality learning experiences that will inspire a new generation of engaged citizens. This initiative, which was started and led by High Resolves, is made possible by the generous support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Imaginable Futures, a venture of The Omidyar Group.
With Composer, educators can discover, search, sequence, and coordinate content to create cross-disciplinary instruction that best meets the needs of their own classrooms and local communities.
“In today’s ever-changing world, educators are looking for solutions to better support young people in their holistic development as citizens,” said Composer’s CEO, Ali Berry. “Composer is just that tool, as it gives educators in any educational setting access to best-in-class content across a wide range of topics in citizenship education. An educator can search for a term such as ‘media literacy’ and find learning experiences on topics such as discerning fact from fiction in the news, accounting for bias in the interpretation of historical events, and how social media misuse can impact well-being and school climate.”
Composer’s searchable library contains nearly 1,000 of the best individual learning experiences available for schools for teaching citizenship through civics, social justice, social and emotional learning, and global competence, and uses a sophisticated algorithm to curate and optimize content. Incorporated into the design-interface are also heuristic rules and prompts that draw on learning science to enhance the quality of curriculum design. “Composer aims to help students master core principles of citizenship based on insights from learning science,” said Bror Saxberg, the Vice President for Learning Science at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. “This approach is in line with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s commitment to advancing evidence-based practices that support the holistic needs of students.”
The platform prompts users to create collections, or “strings” of different kinds of learning experiences, arranged in the right ratio and sequence to have lasting impact. Each string kick starts the learning journey with a “peak experience,” an out of the ordinary, memorable, and engaging intervention such as a powerful film or immersive workshop. The string then provides “repeated practice” opportunities for students to apply and stretch their skills and knowledge to embed them into long-term memory. Strings then offer opportunities for students to put their knowledge into practice through real-world applications such as service learning or community action projects.
Over the past six months, Composer has been tested in a private beta that consisted of 455 users in 113 schools in North America and Australia. While the platform is being launched initially in North America and Australia, where High Resolves is based, Composer will be partnering with providers around the globe to make citizenship education more accessible to all. Composer is designed to provide educators with curricula that ultimately benefit students — especially those in low-income communities, where access to high quality citizenship education is not readily available.
“The scale of the challenges we face as a society requires a collective and sector-wide approach,” said Roger Brooks, President and CEO of Facing History and Ourselves. “Our organization is proud to partner with Composer, and we are inspired by the growing ecosystem of organizations demonstrating a commitment to the greater good and working collaboratively to ensure that all educators and students have access to high quality learning materials that will inspire a new generation of engaged citizens,” he said.
Composer is the first digital platform to offer educators a comprehensive collection of resources for citizenship education. Composer was founded in 2018 as a collaborative initiative between High Resolves, Facing History and Ourselves, iCivics, Generation Citizen, and Peace First for teaching citizenship through civics, social justice, social and emotional learning, and global competence. Composer features 1,000 learning experiences from dozens of the world’s leading content providers. The platform is grounded in learning science to support educators with curriculum planning. In Fall 2019, 455 users from 113 schools across North America and Australia participated in a private beta of the platform. Composer will be publicly available as a free tool for educators starting April 2020. Composer is supported by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Imaginable Futures, a venture of The Omidyar Group.
Learn more at: www.composereducation.org
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