Citizen Z: An Education Week Project
Teaching Civics in a Divided Nation
Illustration: Stephanie Shafer for Education Week
U.S. public education is rooted in the belief by early American leaders that the most important knowledge to impart to young people is what it means to be a citizen. If America is experiencing a civic crisis now, as many say it is, schools may well be failing at that job.
To better understand the role of education in the current crisis, Education Week has undertaken a long-term investigation with support from the Education Writers Association’s Reporting Fellowship grant program. We brought together an advisory group of experts in civic education, visited classrooms, and conducted surveys. The first results of that work follow.
Do you have a good idea for teaching civics? Share it with us and we’ll post the best ideas online.
There was no good news for social studies instruction in the latest national assessment results: 8th graders’ performance plunged in history, dipped in geography, and stayed flat in civics.
States are tweaking voter registration laws for teenage voters and schools are busing students to the polls. Will these efforts help young people get in the habit of voting?
The reason young people fail to vote is not because they don't care about politics or policy, but because they don't know how to translate their ideals into action, a new book argues.
With their state’s caucuses the first official marker in the 2020 presidential contest, Iowa teenagers are in a unique position to observe and participate.
A handful of educators across the country are quietly making the case that math may be the missing piece in civics education.
In rural communities with shrinking populations, schools are enlisting students to help prevent the U.S. Census Bureau from undercounting them next year.
Funding from the U.S. Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities will finance an effort to strengthen content and teaching in the subjects. But the project will need to sidestep the issues that sank a 1994 effort.
Schools, celebrities, and lawmakers have long urged young people to get involved in local and national issues, but the young activists calling for action to stop gun violence or climate change find that their civic involvement isn’t always welcomed.
As many as 1 in 3 eligible 18- and 19-year-olds voted in Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, and Oregon in last year's mid-term elections, new data show. Did civics education help?
As growing numbers of states jump on the civics-learning bandwagon, a coalition of 90 national groups warns that some strategies are better than others. Here's a look at three states working toward a comprehensive approach to the topic.
At a time when districts say they want to prioritize student voice and civics, student board positions tend to be advisory, rather than consequential.
New research suggests that students who’ve learned about media literacy and participatory politics in school are more likely to take part in political activity online.
An activist brand of civics instruction is gaining champions and a few critics in the nation's schools.
Nearly a year later, the March for Our Lives movement can point to electoral and legislative wins and losses, some converts, and some dropouts. Can they keep it going?
Despite harsh criticism from President Trump, shrinking job prospects, and safety threats, student interest in journalism has risen or held steady in many high schools, a new survey shows.
The odds may be long for a newly filed lawsuit that asserts students have a Constitutional right to civics learning, but some experts say the timing is spot on.
In an age of political divisiveness, teachers are finding new ways to teach students how to have calm, reasoned discussions about hot-button issues.
In two AP Government classes in Winchester, Va., students are more interested in results from local races than in Donald Trump, but they’re pumped to be part of the electoral process.
In the kickoff of a blog series leading up to the midterm elections, Curriculum Matters explore how one teacher approached the topic of ballot initiatives.
A majority of potential first-time voters plan to cast a ballot this election season, according to a new Education Week Research Center survey. What's spurring their political engagement?
History-minded residents of Charlotte County, Fla., are among the first to test a state law that permits citizens to challenge the curriculum taught in their schools.