Youth Civic Engagement

From 2001-15, I was one of the founders and leaders of CIRCLE, The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, which studies young Americans’ civic engagement.

I have worked to advance k-12 civic education, especially by serving as one of the organizers or lead writers of these reports:

  1. The Civic Mission of Schools, a report released by Carnegie Corporation of New York and CIRCLE, February 2003. This report coined the phrase “civic mission of schools,” launched the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools that was later led by Justice O’Connor, and presented “six promising practices” for civic education that have become standard in state and district policies and teacher education.
  2. The Commission on Youth Voting and Civic Knowledge, “All Together Now: Collaboration and Innovation for Youth Engagement” (Medford: MA: Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement, 2013)
  3. The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards, National Council for the Social Studies (2013), which has used as the framework to revise standards in several states
  4. Peter Levine and Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, “The Republic is (Still) at Risk—and Civics is Part of the Solution” (2017), which was the framing document for the CivXNow Coalition.
  5. The Educating for American Democracy Roadmap (2021).

I have also worked with high school and college students directly and served organizations that promote civic engagement, such as the CivXNow, the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, Street Law, Discovering Justice, Generation Citizen, and YouthBuild (in various capacities). My writing on how to reengage all young Americans includes these works:

Books on Youth Civic Engagement

The Future of Democracy: Developing the Next Generation of American Citizens (Tufts University Press, 2007)

(With James Youniss) Engaging Young People in Civic Life(Vanderbilt University Press, 2009)

Selected articles on Youth Civic Engagement

Peter Levine and Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, “The Republic is (Still) at Risk—and Civics is Part of the Solution” (Medford, MA: Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, Tufts University, 2017) with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Hewlett and McCormick Foundations

Peter Levine and Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, “Preparing for Civic Life.” In Rafael Heller, Rebecca E.,Wolfe & Adria Steinberg (eds)., Rethinking Readiness: Deeper Learning for College, Work, and Life (Cambridge: Harvard Education Press, 2017), pp. 59-79

Peter Levine & Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, “State Policies for Civic Education,” in Esther Thorson, Mitchell S. McKinney, and Dhavan Shah, eds., Political Socialization in a Media-Saturated World (New York: Peter Lang, 2016), pp. 113-24.

“Explainer: What is Wrong with America’s Civic Education,” The Conversation, May 9, 2016

“Join a club! Or a team – both can make good citizens,” Phi Delta Kappan, vol. 97, no. 8 (May 2016), pp 24-27

Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg & Peter Levine, “Investing In Civic Health – A Case for Strengthening Civic Infrastructure and Civic Education,” in a book edited by Thomas Bryer entitled Higher Education Beyond Job Creation: Universities, Citizenship, and Community (Lexington Books, in press)

“Civic Engagement” in Emerging Trends in the Behavioral and Social Sciences, edited by Robert A. Scott and Stephen M. Kosslyn (John Wiley & Sons, in press)

Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg & Peter Levine, “Diversity in Classrooms: The Relationship between Deliberative and Associative Opportunities in School and Later Electoral Engagement,” Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy (in press)

Peter Levine & Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, “State Policies for Civic Education,” in Political Socialization in a Media Saturated World, edited by Mitchell McKinney and Esther Thorsen (in press)

Jodi Benenson, Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Peter Levine, and Felicia M. Sullivan, “Youth as Part of the Solution: Youth Engagement as a Core Strategy of Comprehensive Community Initiatives,” in Jonathan F. Zaff, Elizabeth Pufall Jones, Alice E. Donlan, Sara Anderson (eds.), Comprehensive Community Initiatives for Positive Youth Development (New York: Routledge, 2016)

“Youth Disaffection with Politics: The US Case,” in Pedro Pérez Herrero (ed.) Desaffección política y gobernabilidad: el reto politico (Madrid: Instituto Universitario de Investigación en Estudios Latinamericanos, 2015), pp. 45-60

(with Abby Kiesa,”Do We Actually Want Higher Youth Voter Turnout?” Stanford Social Innovation Review, March 21, 2016

“The Question Each Citizen Must Ask,” Educational Leadership, March 2016, pp. 30-34.

Review essay: Danielle S. Allen and Rob Reich (eds.) Education, Justice & Democracy, in Theory and Research in Education, vol. 13, no. 2 (July 2015), pp. 235-238

(with Alan Solomont), “Renewing Our Commitment to US History and Civics,” Roll Call, October 15, 2015

“Federal Citizenship Test: What Should a Good Citizen Really Know About America?” Fox News (online), March 18, 2015

“Why the Voting Age Should be 17,” Politico, Feb. 24, 2105

“Opposing View: Good Citizenship Transcends a Test,” USA Today, Feb. 9, 2015

(With Scott Warren) “To Revive Our Democracy, Revive Civic Education,” The Hill, Jan. 15, 2015.

“Social Media Hasn’t Boosted Young Voter Turnout,” Washington Post political science blog (“The Monkey Cage”), Dec. 1, 2014

Meira Levinson & Peter Levine, “Taking Informed Action: The Civic Footprint to Prepare Students for Civic Life,” Social Education (in press)

(with Marshall Croddy ) “The C3 Framework: A Powerful Tool for Preparing Future Generations for Informed and Engaged Civic Life Social Education,” vol. 78, no. 6 (2014), pp 282–285

“Turning Students into Voters: What Teachers Can Do,” Social Education, 78(4), pp 175–178

“You Can Add us to Equations but They Never Make Us Equal: Participatory Budgeting in Boston,” Transformation, August 4, 2014

“Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: The Economic Impact of Public Work in America’s Colleges and Universities,” in Harry C. Boyte (ed.), Democracy’s Education: A Symposium on Power, Public Work, and the Meaning of Citizenship (Vanderbilt University Press, 2014)

Peter Levine & Kei Kawashima-Gindberg, “Teaching Civics in a Time of Partisan Polarization,” Social Education, vol. 77, no 4 (2103), pp. 215-7.

“What the NAEP Civics Assessment Measures and How Students Perform,” CIRCLE Fact Sheet, 2013

“The Half-Impressive Youth Vote,” US News & World Report (op-ed), November 30, 2012

“Why Young People Turned Out-Again” (op-ed), The New York Daily News, Nov. 9, 2012

(with Michelle J. Boyd, Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, and Jonathan Zaff) “Assessment Spotlight: Tufts University, Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service,” Bringing Theory to Practice Newsletter, fall 2012.

“My View: How Schools Should Handle 9/11 in Class,” CNN’s “Schools of Thought” website, Sept. 11, 2012.

“Education for Civil Society,” in David Campbell, Meira Levinson, and Frederick M. Hess (eds.), Civics 2.0: Citizenship Education for a New Generation (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press, 2012), pp. 37-56.

“A New Hull-House? The Monumental Challenge of Service-Learning and Community Engagement,” chapter in Dan W. Butin and Scott Seider (eds.), The Engaged Campus: Certificates, Minors, and Majors as the New Community Engagement (New York: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2012), pp. 171-6.

“Does Rick Santorum Have a Youth Problem? Daily Caller, Feb. 27, 2012

“New Role for Young Voters,” Politico, Jan. 20, 2012

“Young, Black and Voting: Young African Americans are engaged in politics but aren’t guaranteed to turn out in 2012,” The Root, Dec. 2, 2011.

“Patriotism Can Serve Constructive Purposes in Education,” in Noel Merino, ed., Current Controversies: Patriotism (Greenhaven Press, 2011), pp. 107-13.

(with Barry Checkoway and Richard Guarasci), “Reuniting the ‘Often Neglected’ Aims of Liberal Education,” in Don Harward, ed., Transforming Undergraduate Education: Theory that Compels and Practices that Succeed (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield), 2011, pp. 109-24

(executive editor, with several others), Guardian of Democracy: The Civic Mission of Schools, published by the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, CIRCLE, American Bar Association Division of Public Education, Lenore Annenberg Institute for Civics, and National Conference on Citizenship (2011).

“Letter to President Obama: A Policy Approach for the Federal Government,” chapter in David Feith (ed.), Teaching America: The Case for Civic Education (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2011), pp. 209-217

(with Nancy Thomas), “Deliberative Democracy and Higher Education: Higher Education’s Democratic Mission,” in John Saltmarsh and Matthew Hartley, eds., To Serve a Larger Purpose: Engagement for Democracy and the Transformation of Higher Education (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2011).

“What Do We Know about Civic Engagement?” Liberal Education, vol. 97, no. 2 (Spring 2011), pp. 20-7

(with Jonathan F. Zaff, Daniel Hart, Constance A. Flanagan, and James Youniss), “Developing Civic Engagement within a Civic Context,” The Handbook of Life-Span Development (John Wiley & Sons, 2010)

“Making the Case: The Civic Case for Voluntary Student Groups,” Leadership for Student Activities, vol. 39, no. 9 (May 2009), pp. 16-17.

“Teaching and Learning Civility,” in Nancy L. Thomas (ed.), “Educating for Deliberative Democracy,” New Directions for Higher Education, no. 152 (winter 2010), pp. 11-17

(with Elizabeth Hollander, Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Duncan Picard, and Jonathan Zaff), “Assessing the Effects of Institutional Culture on Leadership Education at Tufts University,” in Nicholas V. Longo and Cynthia M. Gibson, eds., From Command to Community: A New Approach to Leadership Education in Colleges and Universities (University Press of New England, 2011), pp. 169-87 (in press).

(with Michael Berson and Kerry Poole), “On Becoming a Legislative Aide: Enhancing Civic Engagement through a Digital Simulation,” Action in Teacher Education, vol. 32, no 4 (2011), pp. 70-82.

(with Ann Higgins d’Alessandro), “The Philosophical Foundations of Civic Education,” Philosophy & Public Policy Quarterly, vol. 30, no. 3/4 (Summer/Fall 2010), pp. 21-7 (pdf)

“Service-Learning Research: Returning to the Moral Questions,” in Trae Stewart and Nicole Webster (eds.), Problematizing Service-Learning, Information Age Publishing (in press), pp. 343-350

(with Jonathan Cohen and Terry Pickeral) “The Foundation for Democracy: Promoting Social, Emotional, Ethical,Cognitive Skills and Dispositions in K-12 Schools,” Revista Interamerica de Educación para la Democracia, vol. 3, no. 1 (April 2010), pp. 74-94 (PDF)

(with Constance Flanagan), “Youth Civic Engagement During the Transition to Adulthood,” in Mary Waters, Gordon Berlin, and Frank Furstenberg (eds.), Transition to Adulthood, (Princeton/Brookings: The Future of Children), vol. 20, no. 1, Spring 2010, pp. 159-180.

(with Ann Higgins-D’Alessandro), “Youth Civic Engagement: Normative Issues,” chapter in Handbook of Research on Civic Engagement in Youth, edited by Lonnie Sherrod, Judith Torney-Purta, and Constance A. Flanagan (John Wiley & Sons, 2010).

“The Civic Opportunity Gap,” Educational Leadership, vol. 66, no. 8 (May 2009), pp. 20-25.

“Civic Engagement for All: A Conversation with Peter Levine,” Northwest Education, vol. 14, no. 2 (Winter 2009), pp. 12-13

(with Mark Hugo Lopez, Kenneth Dautrich, and David Yalof), “Schools, Education Policy and the Future of the First Amendment, Political Communication, vol. 26, no. 1, January-March 2009

(with Constance A. Flanagan and Les Gallay), The Millennial Pendulum: A New Generation of Voters and the Prospects for a Political Realignment, New America Foundation monograph, February 2009

(with Constance A. Flanagan and Richard Settersten), Civic Engagement and the Changing Transition to Adulthood, CIRCLE monograph, January 2009

(with Mark Hugo Lopez and Karlo Barrios Marcelo), Getting Narrower at the Base: The American Curriculum After NCLB, CIRCLE monograph, December, 2008

“The Case for Service,” Philosophy & Public Policy Quarterly, vol. 28, no. 3/4 (summer/fall 2008), pp. 2-8. Also anthologized in Sylvan Barnet and Hugo Bedau, eds., Current Issues and Enduring Questions (St. Martin’s Press, in press).

(with Matt Leighninger), “Education in a Rapidly Changing Democracy: Strengthening Civic Education for Citizens of All Ages,” The School Administrator, October 2008.

(with Robert M. Hollister and Nancy Wilson), “Educating Students to Foster Active Citizenship,” PeerReview, vol. 10, no. 2/3, spring/summer 2008

“The Civic Engagement of Young Immigrants: Why Does it Matter?” Applied Developmental Science, volume 12, issue
(April 2008), pp. 102 – 104

(with Joseph Kahne), “Voter Turnout Spotlights Educational Need,” op-ed, San Francisco Chronicle, March 9, 2008

“The Engaged University: A Tale of Two Generations,” in David W. Brown and Deborah Witte, eds., Agent of Democracy: Higher Education and the HEX Journey (Dayton: Kettering Foundation Press, 2008), pp. 11-28

Education and the Limits of Technocracy,” Philosophy & Public Policy Quarterly, vol. 27, no. 3/4 (Summer/Fall 2007), pp. 17-21.

“America’s Civic Health Index,” 2007, published by the National Conference on Citizenship in partnership with CIRCLE and the Saguaro Seminar. I was one of 12 authors and drafted the original text.

(With Rose Marie Nierras) “Activists’ Views of Deliberation,” Journal of Public Deliberation, vol. 3, no. 1 (2007), article 4.

“Learning and Democracy: Civic Education,” The Kettering Review, vol. 24, no. 3 (Fall 2006), pp. 32-42.

(With Mark Hugo Lopez and others), “The 2006 Civic and Political Health of the Nation” (CIRCLE, based on a nationally representative survey.)

“Higher Education: Civic Mission & Civic Effects,” published by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and CIRCLE in February 2006. This is a consensus report by 22 scholars; I drafted it and revised it to achieve agreement.

“The Civic Mission of Schools: Chief Findings and Next Steps,” Knowledge Quest, vol. 34, no. 4 (March/April, 2006), pp. 20-22

“Youth Voting in 2004: The Myths and the Facts,” Wingspread Journal (2005), pp. 3-6

“Civic Education” (letter), Education Next, Spring 2004, p. 5

With Mark Hugo Lopez, “Themes Emphasized in Social Studies and Civics Classes: New Evidence,” CIRCLE fact sheet, Feb. 2004

(with Cynthia Gibson) “The Path To Consensus: Coalition-Building, Advocacy, Research and Communications Converge for Success in Carnegie/CIRCLE Program,Gold Book (Alliance for Nonprofit Management), February 2004

(with Mark Lopez) “Young People and Political Campaigning on the Internet,” CIRCLE fact sheet, January 2004

The Civic Mission of Schools, a report released by Carnegie Corporation of New York and CIRCLE, February 2003. This report was generated by more than 50 author/endorsers as a result of a deliberative process jointly organized and managed by Cynthia Gibson (Carnegie) and me. It was the subject of a syndicated column by David Broder, several unsigned editorials, and numerous news stories. Copies were distributed at a White House Forum on History, Civics, and Service and a Congressional Conference on Civic Education, among other events. More than 30,000 copies have been requested. It is the charter for the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools.

“The Idea of an Engaged University,” an interview of me by David Brown, Higher Education Exchange, 2003

(with Mark Lopez) “Youth Voter Turnout has Declined, by Any Measure,” CIRCLE publication, June 2002

The schedule I figured out is Elliott would get paid 7/15 and 8/19 and Andrew would get paid 6/24 and 7/29.  Each check would be for $1750.00.