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ERIC Number: EJ766852
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Sep
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1529-8957
Student-Powered Solutions
Battistoni, Rick
Principal Leadership, v5 n1 p22-24, 26 Sep 2004
This article describes Project 540, a national civic education program that directly engages high school students in the democratic process. During Project 540's first year (2002-2003) more than 140,000 students in 230 high schools in the United States participated in Project 540 to identify issues they cared about and take part in civic engagement activities that addressed those issues. A 540-degree turn is a revolution and a half, and Project 540 is a dynamic, moving initiative that brings students full circle to produce civic action plans that are based on an understanding of what their school and community have to offer. Project 540 then allows these students to take an additional turn to implement their civic action plans--a 540-degree turn for civic change. The success of Project 540 has shown that, contrary to popular opinion, high school students are not apathetic. Many are passionate about the issues that affect their schools and communities; however, the widespread view among students that their opinions are neither sought nor valued can serve to inhibit student engagement. The success of Project 540 is largely due to the simple understanding that civic participation that is based on student-led deliberative dialogue enhances students' civic skills and produces desired civic outcomes. Beyond its short-term successes, Project 540's successful efforts to directly involve students in school governance have raised important questions about what approach to take to promote school-based civic education.
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:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States