CIRCLE Fact Sheet: Information Literacy Crucial to High School Civics
This fact sheet summarizes findings about the teaching of information literacy in high school civics and government courses. More than 700 teachers responded to a survey, and nearly all of them reported spending time on news analysis, current events discussion, and other information literacy skills and topics in their classes.
The research also showed, however, that information literacy is more likely to be taught in AP/honors classes than in required courses and that more than half of teachers do not feel very confident in teaching information literacy.
Guidebook: Six Proven Practices for Effective Civic Learning
National Center for Learning and Civic Engagement, Education Commission of the States
This Guidebook is aimed at educators and policymakers and offers effective models of civics and service-learning that can be incorporate into the classroom and community.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards
The result of a three year state-led collaborative effort, the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards was developed to serve two audiences: for states to upgrade their state social studies standards and for practitioners — local school districts, schools, teachers and curriculum writers — to strengthen their social studies programs. Its objectives are to: a) enhance the rigor of the social studies disciplines; b) build critical thinking, problem solving, and participatory skills to become engaged citizens; and c) align academic programs to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies.
The Fact Sheet is also available at www.socialstudies.org/C3.
State Civic Education Requirements Fact Sheet
The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) has analyzed the standards, course requirements, and mandatory assessments relevant to civic education in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. This is the first such scan in 5 years.
The Fact Sheet is also available on CIRCLE’s website.
Education Commission of the States – Legislative Updates
Since 2003, the National Center for Learning and Civic Engagement (NCLCE) at the Education Commission of the States (ECS) has periodically conducted a comprehensive 50-state civic education policy scan to identify adopted policies that encourage, support, and advance civic learning and engagement for P-20 students. While the role that civic education plays in public schools has been reduced in the past 50 years, the civic education field continues to make significant strides in identifying best practices for civic education. As evident in NCLCE’s most recent 50-state policy scan, some states have recognized such best practices by enacting policy on “civics,” “citizenship education,” and “social studies.”
Visit the Civic Education Policy Database at http://www.ecs.org/html/educationIssues/CitizenshipEducation/CitEdDB_intro.asp.
Summary of the 50 State Policy
All Together Now: Collaboration and Innovation for Youth Engagement: The Report of the Commission on Youth Voting and Civic Knowledge
Based in part on surveys from more than 6,000 young people and more than 700 civics and government teachers, the report presents new findings relevant to increasing youth voter turnout and improving civic education. It makes specific recommendations that are supported by cutting-edge research.
A report summary is available at http://www.civicyouth.org/commission-on-youth-voting-and-civic-knowledge-releases-report/
CIRCLE has alo developed a reflection guide for teachers that includes several noteworthy findings from the survey and encourages educators to consider how their experiences are similar—and how they may differ. The guide also includes specific recommendations from the report and invites teachers to reflect on which ones would or would not work in their classrooms, and to think about any additional resources and support they may need to implement.
Guardian of Democracy: The Civic Mission of Schools Report
The much anticipated follow up to the 2003 Civic Mission of Schools’ Report. The report is an urgent call for action to restore the historic civic mission of our nation’s schools. This new report provides research-based evidence of the decline in civic learning in American schools and presents six proven practices that should be at the heart of every school’s approach to civic learning. It also provides recommendations for education policymakers to ensure every student acquires the civic skills and knowledge needed for an informed, engaged citizenry.
The report is also available on the Campaign’s website www.civicmissionofschools.org.
Advancing Civic Learning and Engagement in Democracy: A Road Map and Call to Action
In this report, the US Department of Education outlines directions for advancing civic learning and democratic engagement from grade school to graduate school. It concludes by proposing nine steps the Department will take to advance civic learning across American education.
Flunking Civics: Why America’s Kids Know So Little
May ABA Journal: The American Bar Association publication the “ABA Journal” featured civic education in its May 2011 Issue. This is the lead article from that publication.
High Schools, Civics, and Citizenship: What Social Studies Teachers Think and Do
American Enterprise Institute, September 2010: This study revolves around the question: what are teachers trying to teach our youth about citizenship and what it means to be an American? The findings are based on a national, random sample survey of 866 public high school social studies teachers, an oversample survey of 245 Catholic and private high school social studies teachers, and three focus groups.
Nation’s Report Card on Civics
For the third NAEP Civics Report in a row, (1998, 2006, 2010) the results are very disappointing and are a wakeup call that we are failing to impart the civic knowledge, skills and disposition critical to being an informed and engaged citizen. The data revealed that only 27 percent of fourth-graders, 22 percent of eighth-graders and 24 percent of twelfth-graders scored proficient or higher in civics – meaning that millions of young Americans will be unprepared to be the informed and engaged citizens a healthy democracy requires.
Civic Skills and Federal Policy
On April 29, 2010, scholars, civic leaders, and federal officials met in Washington to develop a federal policy agenda for civic skills. The conference was convened by CIRCLE at Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service. It was co-sponsored by the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools and Strengthening Our Nation’s Democracy (SOND).
No Excuses: Schools and Districts that Make Preparing Students for Citizenship a Priority, and How Others Can Do It, Too
This report contains the findings of a special task force which examined civic learning in eleven schools and districts that offer exemplary civic learning for all students. The report contains lessons learned from each school and district, showing that high quality civic learning is not only possible but replicable and scalable in every school and district across the nation.
Paths to 21st Century Competencies through Civic Education Classrooms: An Analysis of Survey Results from Ninth Grade Classes
by Dr. Judith Torney-Purta (University of Maryland) with Dr. Britt Wilkenfeld: This study that shows how effective civic education builds the 21st Century Skills important to a student’s success in College, Career and Citizenship. The results of the study show that those students who receive quality civic learning experiences showed the highest scores on demonstrating 21st Century Competencies.
The Status of Civic Education in Michigan
Michigan Center for Civic Education for the Michigan Coalition on Civic Education
Through funding from the Carnegie Corporation, the Michigan Center for Civic Education established a Michigan Coalition on Civic Education to conduct the Michigan Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools. The Coalition engaged Public Sector Consultants Inc. to conduct a Web-based survey of Michigan schools to draw a baseline from which progress in civic education in Michigan could be determined.
Citizenship Education Policy Brief
Education Commission on the States: This policy brief reviews current data and recent state action in support of citizenship education. It highlights eight states’ standards which go beyond the teaching of knowledge and extend to skills and dispositions, analyzes common characteristics of state standards and concludes with questions for policymakers.
Advancing the Civic Mission of Schools
Academy for Educational Development: This report identifies six challenges to civic learning, including: making students’ civic learning a priority in school reform; integrating civic learning into the curriculum; implementing sound civic education standards; developing better assessment methods to evaluate students’ civic learning and to make schools accountable for civic education; improving teachers’ and administrators’ training for civic education; increasing collaboration between schools and communities. The report discusses these challenges and articulates clear action steps that schools, districts, and state and federal leaders can take to meet them.
Essentials of Law-Related Education
American Bar Association. 2003: The LRE Essentials concentrates on four areas—concepts and subject matter; attitudes, beliefs and values; skills; and instructional practices and contexts—which together provide optimal opportunities for students to learn about their roles and responsibilities as citizens.