Category Archives: advocating civic education

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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teaching online civic engagement

For several years, Joe Kahne and his colleagues have been conducting intensive research on young people’s use of digital media for politics and what that means for education. Their research has taken the form of large-scale youth surveys, interviews, and … Continue reading

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civic education in the year of Trump: neutrality vs. civil courage

In the minds of many dedicated civic educators, two deep instincts are clashing as Donald Trump dominates the news media and the Republican presidential race. One instinct is to try to be as neutral as possible about issues and candidates. It’s dangerous … Continue reading

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every Republican president since 1901 has insisted that the US is a democracy

Anyone who works on civic education or grassroots civic engagement will sooner or later encounter critics who say, “The US is not a democracy–it is a republic” as if that were a profound objection to teaching or practicing democratic values. In a longer post, I analyzed … Continue reading

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