Civic Education

Are students learning how to be good citizens?


For years, voter turnout has been dropping, political polarization has been rising and the art of compromise has been waning. Then came the bitter 2016 presidential campaign and its aftermath. The new lows in nastiness, civic education proponents say, have helped demonstrate the need for schools to do a better job teaching youngsters good citizenship in the hopes that they will improve civic discourse as they become adults. Some schools, state governments and private groups are experimenting with programs to build citizenship skills, including a comprehensive approach known as “action civics” that sends students on community improvement projects. However, conservative and liberal advocates of civic education hold different visions for civic learning. Experts also disagree on the internet's impact on civic engagement. But they agree ...

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