In this episode of the Certell Connects Podcast (NCSS 2021 Edition) Fred Fransen speaks with Dr. Florian Feucht, Founder of Thinking Habitats, about how to bring current events into the social studies classroom.
Florian C. Feucht is a full professor of educational psychologies and peace education at the University of Toledo and the founder of Thinking Habitats. He received a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas/ USA in 2008 and a PhD in Curriculum Development and Research from the University of Oldenburg/ Germany in 2006. His area of expertise is curriculum development in the overlaps of cognitive psychology and educational technology. Currently, his work focuses on reading comprehension, critical thinking, news media literacy, and civic engagement in high school students.
Their Front Porch Experience is an innovative school curriculum and integrated professional development program that uses the local news media as a tool to help students build the critical skills currently missing from the classroom and the workplace. This is what we present at NCSS. This project is funded by a federal grant and in collaboration with different social studies and english language arts high school teachers, social studies consultants, and school principals. The Front Porch Experience uses local newspapers as main reading and learning materials; students learn to differentiate between fact and fiction, establish the trustworthiness of knowledge sources, etc and create their own capstone experience based on their own cause. // The Front Porch Experience – thinking tools for schools.
We developed it with my team at Thinking Habitats. Overall our projects focus on the development of research-based learning environments and assessment tools fostering critical thinking and problem solving. Our mission is to empower people with thinking tools to lead successful lives and contribute to the well-being of their communities. R&D focuses on interactive technologies and artificial intelligence to create individualized learning pathways and ensure equitable access for all learners. We do a lot of rapid development of curriculum and learning apps (prototyping) in schools in Michigan.