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ERIC Number: EJ904796
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
Youth Civic Identity Development in the U.S. History Course
Rubin, Beth C.
Social Education, v74 n3 p144-147 May-Jun 2010
Recent research on civic learning shows that students' civic identity--the sense of who they are in relation to the nation--is shaped by their lived experiences. Yet, efforts to integrate civic learning into the social studies curriculum do not generally build on this notion. A high school U.S. history course was developed to test this very idea. In this project, a design team of teachers and researchers considered how the state mandated U.S. History II course might be turned into an opportunity for meaningful civic learning while still teaching the required content. What might the course look like if it were restructured based on research showing that students' civic identities are shaped by their daily lives and experiences? This article describes the transformed course. The author begins with the principles upon which the reform was based and then turns to (a) the themes and essential questions that were used to connect the study of U.S. history to students' lives; and (b) the skills strands through which civic learning flowed over the course of the year. The author concludes with the results of these efforts, presenting data from students and teachers that demonstrate the power of engaging young people directly with civic questions that are both timely and relevant to their lives outside school. (Contains 2 tables and 10 notes.)
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street #500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800; Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A