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The Future of Civic Education: Implications for Research, Policy, and Practice

Campbell, David E.; White, Gregory; Dong, Dian; Lee, Carol D.
The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

We present a summary of the volume’s main insights and recommendations for a robust form of civic education that will prepare young people to become civic actors who can take responsibility for upholding and advancing democracy. This volume establishes the need to expand civic education across curricula, beyond a one-shot course. We argue that the challenges of democracy and civic problems we face are multifaceted, requiring reasoned judgment and democratic decision-making, and involving discourse around rights and responsibilities. To meet these challenges, the stature of civic education must be elevated, its content expanded, and its delivery improved upon to ensure that civic learning is meaningful and relevant to students’ diverse lives. Students also need to develop a civic and problem-solving toolkit: this work should start at an early age, involve opportunities to explore their own questions about democracy and civic involvement, and model democratic engagement in their own schools and communities.