ERIC Number: ED429929
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-May
Issue-Centered Civic Education in Middle Schools. ERIC Digest.
Vontz, Thomas S.; Nixon, William A.
The core mission of the social studies curriculum is education for democratic citizenship. The middle school years are an important time frame in which to fulfill that core mission. Policymakers, educators, community members, and parents need to recognize that civic education at the middle level years is important. One effective method for accomplishing middle school instruction in civic education is issue-centered education. Two perennial questions accompany this instructional method: (1) is the teaching of content culled from history and the social sciences appropriately tailored for young minds, adequate citizenship education in and of itself? and (2) should students first master a core body of information and concepts before being asked to consider the issues that face adult citizens? Issue-centered civic education examines social questions within a discipline-based or interdisciplinary curriculum. An exemplary issue-centered civic education program is "We the People Project Citizen." Developed and sponsored by the Center for Civic Education, it was launched in California in 1992 and expanded to national usage in 1995. The program is created specifically for middle school students and involves them in the civic life of their community. "Project Citizen" has been evaluated by a comprehensive, eight-month study conducted at the University of Texas. The research report indicated several positive outcomes of the program. In addition, "We the People Project Citizen" is a flexible program that can fit into many classroom settings. (JH)
Descriptors: Citizenship Education, Civics, Instructional Materials, Law Related Education, Middle Schools, Social Studies
ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education, 2805 East Tenth Street, Suite 120, Bloomington, IN, 47408; Tel: 800-266-3815 (Toll Free).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education, Bloomington, IN.