ERIC Number: ED476345
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Jan
The Importance of Promoting Civic Education.
The United States still has citizens, but it is said that their commitment to the political community is more tenuous than it has ever been. Civic virtue and even civility are in decline, along with moral and political qualities that make a good citizen. U.S. people between the ages of 18 and 25 are conspicuously lacking in the attributes of good citizenship. They are less likely to vote than either their older counterparts or young people of past decades. They are not as interested in political discussion and public issues as past generations were at the same point in their lives. Given this evidence of decline, many contend that, if blame is to be laid anywhere, it must be at the doorsteps of the nation's schools and universities. They have failed, critics allege, to fulfill their civic mission and to prepare their students to be informed and effective citizens. This paper proposes that to test the truth or falsity of the critics' allegations three questions should be considered: (1) what is now known about the status of civic education in the nation's schools?; (2) what does research say about civic education practices and programs that foster the knowledge, skills, and civic dispositions essential for all citizens of a constitutional democracy?; and (3) how can civic education be improved and why is it imperative to do so? The address considers and explores each question. (Contains 18 notes.) (BT)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Address presented to the Center for Civic Education Annual Scholars Conference (2nd, Pasadena, CA, January 31, 2003).