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Why Teach Civics
posted by: Melissa | November 03, 2020, 05:04 PM   

Our country is holding one of the most contentious elections in recent history. The nation’s citizens seem to be more polarized than ever. It’s not just that we can’t agree on what solutions we need, we don’t even seem to agree on the same list of issues. Increasingly, digital and traditional media are pulling citizens further and further into their own respective corners and echo chambers, leaving many to feel we have few values or beliefs in common. 


We feel challenged on all fronts. We are confident it is somehow the other guy’s fault.


In this environment, teaching civics in our schools is not just desirable, it’s essential. It’s through the teaching of civics that our students develop a shared set of values that can help glue the country together. Our students may never agree on Roe v. Wade, the ideal immigration policy, or deficit spending, but they can agree on respecting the viewpoints of others, the importance of free speech, and the essential role of democracy in ensuring freedom for all.


When students are taught civics in a high-quality comprehensive manner from kindergarten through high school, the benefits are clear. They develop key critical thinking and media literacy skills. Because of this, they perform better academically. Students are more engaged in their schools and in the larger community. This engagement makes them more likely to vote when they reach adulthood, and it even increases the likelihood that their parents will vote.


In short, the benefits of teaching civics and teaching civics well will last long into adulthood and impact far more than just that student. It is why we are releasing our new civics publication today. Check your member email for your copy of the publication.

Teaching Civics for Classroom Engagement and Beyond is an in-depth examination of the state of civics education in this country and provides educators, policymakers, and advocates with valuable information to consider when teaching civics or urging for more civics education in schools.

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