What is Civic Education?
Civic education in a democracy helps students gain the knowledge and skills needed for informed, responsible participation in public life. It is the study of constitutional principles and the democratic foundation of our national, state and local institutions. Civic education also studies political processes and structures of government, grounded in the understanding of constitutional government under the rule of law.
Why study Civic Education?
Students will know how to participate to make a difference and will have the skills required for competent participation in the political process, including the capacity to influence policies and the ability to monitor and evaluate the performance of public officials. The aim of civic education is not just any kind of participation by any kind of citizen; it is the participation of informed and responsible citizens, skilled in the arts of deliberation and effective action.
Learning, Law and Democracy Foundation:
Center for Civic Education: http://www.civiced.org/index.php
Minnesota Civic Education Matters: http://www.mnciviced.org/
- Center for Civic Education lesson plans. Includes lessons specific to Constitution Day, September 17, and lessons sorted by grade level. Additional sections include Black History Month and Election Resources.http://www.civiced.org/index.php?page=lesson_plans
- Citizenship Counts. Non-profit organization dedicated to educating about citizenship through student involvement in naturalization ceremonies and community service. http://www.citizenshipcounts.org
- Constitution for Kids. This guide, from 4LawSchool, provides Constitutional resources for students, from a variety of places such as NEH, Schoolhouse Rock and Congress. http://www.4lawschool.com/constitution-for-kids
- Fairness and Freedom: Courts as a Forum for Justice, from Learning, Law and Democracy. Curriculum materials, covering 17 topics, designed to teach students in grades 5-12 about the Minnesota court system. Includes lesson plans, content and student handouts. http://civicallyspeaking.org/fairness.html
- iCivics. Envisioned by former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, this website includes lesson and games focused on civics and government, including the Constitution and constitutional issues, the three branches of government, and citizenship. http://www.icivics.org
- "Making Civics Real: A Workshop for Teachers": Video workshop for high school civics teachers from Annenberg Media. Includes eight one-hour workshops on topics from "Freedom of Religion" to "Rights and Responsibilities of Students," as well as collections of teaching materials and supporting resources.http://www.learner.org/workshops/civics/