Make a difference as a teacher
  • Make sure civics is taught in your school as a requirement to graduate.
  • Make sure civics is taught in a manner that actually prepares young people to become effective citizens.  This means moving civics beyond knowledge to application.  Make sure students understand that civics is learning the exercise of Practical Political Power.
  • Reach out to the community to expand the resources and relevance of your civics curriculum.  Ask local officials, journalists, and activists, to speak to your classes about their experiences.  Field trips to local government and community agencies are important ways to bring civics alive and show its impact in our daily lives.
  • Incorporate news stories into your classroom discussions.  Have students share news stories that are important to them and facilitate discussion about how civics plays a role in that story.
  • Encourage critical thinking and debate.  Find ways for students to look beyond the headlines and the editorials to discover underlying themes and trends.
  • Employ simulations and games to put “civics in motion”.  Develop ways for students to explore and test the practical applications of civics.Require students to volunteer with local service, advocacy, or political groups as part of learning civics as the exercise of Practical Political Power.
  • Weave civics into other classes:
    • Civics provides insights into the “how and why” behind the “what and when” of history. Finds ways to help students realize that past events provide timeless insights and lessons we can apply today.
    • Civics provides a clear bottomline for why English is important – the most effective leaders (in both the public and private sectors) master the art of communicating their ideas to convert and motivate people through both the spoken and written word.  Help students understand how film, the web, and social media are impacting public policy.
  • Start a debate and forensics club at your school.  Learning how to express yourself and to understand both sides of an issue are fundamental life skills.    Visit the National Forensic League for more information.

Please share successful civics programs with us to inspire others to take action.  Here are some very successful examples.

 

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