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ERIC Number: EJ781370
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Dec
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0031-7217
The Return of Civic Education
Walling, Donovan R.
Phi Delta Kappan, v89 n4 p285-289 Dec 2007
Civic education began wandering in the curricular wilderness in the 1960s, when Vietnam and then Watergate brought disenchantment, rebellion, experimentation, a loss of faith in traditional institutions and traditional leaders, the breakup of consensus, the weakening of the core culture and ultimately the erosion of curricular requirements in civic education. No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is only the latest nail in the coffin of civic education. This article describes how organizations such as the Center for Civic Education are beginning to achieve success in their efforts to revive the subject. The center's flagship program "We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution," a core civics curriculum for fourth- through 12th-grade students, is designed to teach students about their constitutional heritage so that they will become knowledgeable, thoughtful citizens of democracy, and it does so in a way that is engaging and exciting. Its success stems from its instructional design. "We the People" textbooks are adaptable to provide either a complete curriculum or individual units that can be integrated into existing courses. At each level--elementary, middle, and high school--the innovative culminating activity is a simulated congressional hearing, in which students "testify" before a panel of judges. Students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles and then evaluate, take, and defend positions on current and historical issues. At the high school level, students become involved in a series of competitions. (Contains 15 notes.)
Phi Delta Kappa International. 408 North Union Street, P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-1789. Tel: 800-766-1156; Fax: 812-339-0018; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001