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Civics Forward Event: Transformation Of Civic Education

In this episode of Civics Forward, we discussed the transformation and importance of civic education in America and the Educating For America And Democracy Initiative with Danielle Allen, a James Bryant Conant Professor at Harvard University.

Since the 1950s, education policy and funding has been heavily geared towards STEM due to global crises leading to a stark decrease in civic education. It can be estimated that about $50 federal dollars is spent per year per student on STEM education while only $0.05 federal dollars is spent per year per student on civics education.

The Educating for America and Democracy Initiative seeks to create more opportunities for civic education by providing a framework that invites educators all over the nation into a shared community of practice. This inquiry-based framework includes 7 themes:

  1. Civic Participation
  2. Borders
  3. We the People
  4. Our Government
  5. Institutional and Social Transformations
  6. America in the Global Context
  7. Contemporary Possibilities and Challenges

As Allen mentioned, “Every school, we believe, should be developing a civic learning plan, but at the end of the day, doing that work also requires support from the other levels of our jurisdictional system.” This level of support needs to come from 3 levels:

  • Local level: support from the State in the form of how standards are drafted, professional development resources, and affirmation/support for the goal of civic education development
  • National level: needs curricular resources from organizations like Bill of Rights Institute and iCivics which need to be fully activated to provide schools with their resources
  • Federal government: support with education related data

Watch the full episode here:


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