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ERIC Number: ED498891
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 44
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
The Civic Mission of Schools
Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE)
For more than 250 years, Americans have shared a vision of a democracy in which all citizens understand, appreciate, and engage actively in civic and political life. In recent decades, however, increasing numbers of Americans have disengaged from civic and political institutions such as voluntary associations, religious congregations, community-based organizations, and political and electoral activities such as voting and being informed about public issues. Young people reflect these trends: they are less likely to vote and are less interested in political discussion and public issues than either their older counterparts or young people of past decades. As a result, many young Americans may not be prepared to participate fully in our democracy now and when they become adults. Recognizing that individuals do not automatically become free and responsible citizens but must be educated for citizenship, scholars; teachers; civic leaders; local, state, and federal policymakers; and federal judges, have with the encouragement of the president of the United States, called for new strategies that can capitalize on young people's idealism and their commitment to service and voluntarism while addressing their disengagement from political and civic institutions. One of the most promising approaches to increase young people's informed engagement is school-based civic education. In late 2002, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) and Carnegie Corporation of New York, in consultation with the Corporation for National and Community Service, convened a series of meetings involving some of the nation's most distinguished and respected scholars and practitioners in this area to determine, based on solid data and evidence, the components of effective and feasible civic education programs. Representing a diversity of political views, a variety of disciplines, and various approaches, these individuals disagree about some aspects of how civic education should be conducted, but nevertheless share a common vision of a richer, more comprehensive approach to civic education in the United States. This report is a powerful statement of their vision. (Contains 7 figures, 1 table, and 68 endnotes.) [This report, written by more than 50 scholars and education practitioners, was produced in collaboration with the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE).]
Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). University of Maryland, School of Public Policy, 2101 Van Munching Hall, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-2790; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Carnegie Corp. of New York, NY.
Identifiers - Location: United States