Category Archives: advocating civic education

how schools teach about political parties

According to a new paper released today by CIRCLE: Forty-three states require students to learn about political parties; however, the language in the standards nearly always promotes a simplistic understanding of the role that political parties play in a democracy. … Continue reading

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public support for civics

The annual Phi Delta Kappa survey of public attitudes toward education is out. Adults are asked whether preparing students to be good citizens is important and how well schools are doing it. Eighty-two percent say it’s extremely or very important, and 33% say … Continue reading

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rate of first year college students who performed volunteer service

This graph is based on data from the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) American Freshman survey. I don’t think I have seen the trend presented in one place and continuing until 2015, so I offer the graph for public consumption. The trend is consistent … Continue reading

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progress on civics

I’m back from a very inspiring meeting of civic activists, civic educators, and students in the White House. It was convened by the Domestic Policy Council along with Civic Nation and the Beeck Center, with support from Tisch College and others. Committed … Continue reading

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the #1 goal of civics: making kids interested

Washington (DC): I am on a civics road trip: the First Annual Civics Literacy Conference in Massachusetts, an advisory board meeting for iCivics inside the Supreme Court building, and then a meeting with executive branch people. The public discourse about … Continue reading

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reinventing the high school government course

One of the most exciting current efforts in civic education–which also has applications far beyond civics–is a project on reinventing the high school civics course led by Walter Parker with Jane Lo and others. Typically, a civics course involves presenting and explaining a whole … Continue reading

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podcast on civic education and engagement in Catholic communities

Here, starting at minute 39, is my recent conversation with Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities, New York, on his SiriusXM Radio Show, “Just Love.” We talked about why Millennials volunteer so much (I named a combination of idealism and structured … Continue reading

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“Explainer” on civic education

Over at The Conversation, I have a new article that’s meant to be a short overview of civic education today. It begins: Any election demands knowledge, attention and wisdom from the whole electorate. When a campaign season does not seem to … Continue reading

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new article: “Join a club! Or a team – both can make good citizens”

This new article explores reasons that k-12 athletics may boost civic engagement, as well as some important differences between sports and civic life. Student associations in general teach civic skills, and sports are best understood as examples of associations. Indeed, high … Continue reading

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the question each citizen must ask

(New York City) “The Question Each Citizen Must Ask” is my new piece in Educational Leadership, the magazine for k-12 school administrators (vol. 73, no. 6, March 2016, pp. 30-34. It begins: When universal public education was invented in the United States, … Continue reading

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