ERIC Number: EJ766851
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Sep
Reference Count: 1
Teaching Civics: A Call to Action
Berman, Sheldon H.
Principal Leadership, v5 n1 p16-20 Sep 2004
Because the national education agenda is focused on standards, testing, and accountability, schools are at risk of narrowly defining their mission as improving test scores. In this environment, it is easy to forget that public education serves a larger civic mission. Preserving and promoting a democratic society was the founding precept of the public education system. If educators are to continue to preserve democracy, this mission must remain central to their efforts. In this article, the author describes how Hudson High School in Massachusetts restructured its curriculum to teach students civic skills and give all students a voice in school governance. The goal of this program is not only to graduate students who have solid academic skills but also to help students develop an ethic of service and civic responsibility and an ability for the thoughtful questioning and investigation necessary for informed civic participation. The school believes that to accomplish this, students must gain a deep understanding of civic concepts and directly experience civic engagement. They must experience themselves as part of a democratic community that values their voice. As a result, it has created a core ninth-grade course in civics; integrated service-learning across the curriculum; restructured the school into smaller clusters; provided time in the weekly schedule to engage all students in school governance; and created a community council that represents students, faculty members, and administrators.
Descriptors: High Schools, High School Students, Citizenship Education, Civics, Service Learning, Class Organization, Participative Decision Making
National Association of Secondary School Principals. 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537. Tel: 800-253-7746; Tel: 703-860-0200; Fax: 703-620-6534; Web site: http://www.principals.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 10; Grade 11; Grade 12; Grade 8; Grade 9; High Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts