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Midterm Mania – Analyzing the Election Results
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Midterm Mania – Analyzing the Election Results

Election Day 2018 came and went in a cloud of political ads, poll results, analysis, and commentary from the major news outlets.  Their analysis went long into the night and began again the next morning.  However, the most important analysis may occur in your classroom this week.  Facilitating a discussion that is nonpartisan and values all students’ opinions equally while fostering critical thinking can be a daunting task. 

 

Our students are talking about politics, many are voting and most have formed strong opinions. The days after an election bring out feelings of elation and defeatism.  Analyzing the election, while sifting through emotions changes the dynamics of classroom discussions.  As we prepare to lead these discussions here are a few tips and tricks to help create a balanced atmosphere.

 

  1. Stick to the facts, who won? (CNN has an interactive map here)
  2. Compare your local, state, and national election results. Encourage students to look for voting patterns.
  3. Analyze the entire ballot. Students often have a vested interest in one candidate. Analyzing the ballot can change their view point.
  4. Put it in perspective. The Smithsonian Institute published a great article in 2010 entitled The Top Ten Historical Midterm ElectionsThe elections are given subtitles that illustrate how Americans were feeling.  Who can resist 1826 the era of hard feelings, 1910 splitsville, or 1930 pessimism wins.  Using an older article and focusing on the past can sometimes put it all in perspective.

How will you discuss the election in class?  What are your tried an true methods for remaining nonpartisan and balancing the atmosphere?

 

 

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