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Service-Learning


State Civic Education Policy Framework - This framework is intended to guide state policymakers as they address the complexities of preparing students for college, career and civic life. It allows for adaptation to state- and site-specific circumstances and may be adopted in whole or in piecemeal fashion, according to states’ individual circumstances. (Paul Baumann, Maria Millard, Leslie Hamdorf)...

The Progress of Education Reform: The New Civics - This issue of The Progress of Education Reform provides a close look at the new civics—how it differs from previous practices, what it includes, how it is supported by research, and its implications for policy. (Paul Baumann and Molly Ryan, ECS, April 2013)...

Network News: Sustaining Service-Learning in Your School: Staying the Course PDF - Over the past year and a half, we have framed issues of Network News around identifying quality service-learning best practices and implementation. In this, our final installment, we look closely at what it takes to sustain service-learning, and offer ideas for how to anchor service-learning in curricula and bolster the wonderful programs taking place in the Schools of Success network schools. (Lisa Guilfoile, ECS, July 2012) ...

Service-Learning in the United States: Status of Institutionalization PDF - Inclusion in state statute and code gives service-learning validity and stability, and ensures that it is not subject to the varying interests and priorities of specific leaders, according to a 50-state policy scan conducted by the National Center for Learning and Citizenship in 2011. The commitment of district and school leaders is important, though the priorities of and support from superintendents can differ, the report states. (Ann Rautio, ECS, March 2012)...

The Progress of Education Reform: Civic Engagement through Digital Citizenship PDF - This issue of The Progress of Education Reform includes a closer look at the characteristics of digital natives and provides a summary of research about digital natives' civic engagement habits and the implications of this research for education policy aimed at promoting digital citizenship for today’s youth. (Paul Baumann, ECS, February 2012)...

12 for 2012 - 12 for 2012 is an ECS “read of the field,” built on our scrutiny of new reports and research, and our analysis of emerging drivers of change. The 12 policy areas do not represent an exhaustive list of the critical issues for the coming year, nor is this report intended to dictate your education policy priorities for 2012. Rather, 12 for 2012 is intended to stimulate thinking around how best to craft the “2.0” of powerful policy across the states. (ECS, 2012)...

The Progress of Education Reform: Citizenship Education PDF - This issue of The Progress of Education Reform examines research on what constitutes citizenship education, how citizenship education contributes to the acquisition of 21st century skills and civic learning opportunity and achievement gaps. (Jennifer Piscatelli, Education Commission of the States, October 2010)...

Service-Learning and Hispanic Students: What Works in the Field PDF - This report examines best practices in educating Hispanic students and improving student graduation rates and matriculation into higher education. The author sought to determine whether successful schools implemented different practices for Hispanic students and how successful service-learning was as a pedagogical approach. (Tiffani Lennon, Education Commission of the States, July 2009)...

The Progress of Education Reform: Student Engagement - This issue of the Progress of Education Reform features highlights of K-12 research on student engagement, a civic orientation and building resiliency. Taken together, they provide a useful, up-to-date look at evidence on the merits of engaging students for achievement and success. It also includes policy implications based on the research, as well as links to studies and resources on student engagement in higher education. (Education Commission of the States, October 2007) ...

Developing Citizenship Competencies from Kindergarten through Grade 12: A Background Paper for Policymakers and Educators PDF - This paper, updated in July 2006 to include new resources and policy information, is designed to help policymakers and education leaders incorporate civic knowledge, skills and attitudes into policies that support effective citizenship education from the early elementary grades through high school. (Judith Torney-Purta and Susan Vermeer Lopez, Education Commission of the States, August 2006)...

Getting Civics Right: What It Would Take to Learn What Works and What Doesn't in Citizenship Education - Asserting that civic education receives little meaningful attention within the education policy community, the author considers what a comprehensive study of civic education among U.S. high school students would look like. He writes that research methods should include large, representative samples of adolescents on the state and national levels, with repeated interviews with the same subjects over time. (David E. Campbell, AEI Program on American Citizenship, November 2014)...

Putting Civics to the Test: The Impact of State-Level Civics Assessments on Civic Knowledge - Do civics assessments enhance democratic education? Yes, but only assessments that are required for high school graduation, according to this report. They also lead to greater civic knowledge, but don’t foster greater voter participation. African Americans, Hispanic and immigrant youth stand to make the greatest gains in civic knowledge. (David E. Campbell, American Enterprise Institute, September 2014)...

In Service of Citizenship: YES Prep Public Schools and Civic Education - Described by the author as "one of the premier high-poverty/high achievement charter schools," the Houston-based YES (Youth Engaged in Service) Prep focuses on citizenship through service to the community. It is the service aspect which most distinguishes YES Prep from the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), and the fact that YES Prep has only 10 grade 6-12 schools, all in Houston, while KIPP has 125 campuses in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Distinguishing YES Prep charters from public schools is a 100% high school graduation and college placement rate with credit going to hard-working college counselors, helpful deans and committed parents, among other aspects. (Robert Maranto, April 2013)...

New and Alternative Assessments, Digital Badges, and Civics: An Overview of Emerging Themes and Promising Directions - The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) recently released a working paper entitled “New and Alternative Assessments, Digital Badges, and Civics: An Overview of Emerging Themes and Promising Directions,” that explores digital badges and alternative assessments for civic skills, knowledge, and dispositions. The paper considers digital badges as well as ePortfolios, rubrics, games, simulations, and other assessment and learning tools that might expand options for those committed to improving civic education. ...

Civic Education and Charter Schools: Current Knowledge and Future Research Issues - This report examines the status of civic education in both traditional public schools and public charter schools. The report, produced by the Center on Education Policy (CEP) at The George Washington University, uses data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress and other research to learn how the performance of charter school students compares to traditional public school students....

Millennials Civic Health Index - This study highlights the diverse ways in which young Americans 18- to 29-years-old are taking action in their communities beyond the voting booth, online and offline, across different regions of the United States. The study, produced by the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, and Mobilize.org, challenges commonly held beliefs about a generation of young Americans whose votes played a critical role in the 2012 presidential election. ...

Guardian of Democracy - This report was produced by the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools in partnership with the Leonore Annenberg Institute for Civics of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, the National Conference on Citizenship, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University, and the American Bar Association Division for Public Education. This report builds and expands on the findings of the Civic Mission of Schools report, published in 2003 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement....

Preparing Students for College, Career, and Citizenship - This work is intended to achieve a dual purpose: to provide English-language Arts teachers a civic education context for improving literacy skills and to provide social studies teachers a pedagogical framework for building literacy competencies needed for civic life. Reading, writing, listening and speaking skills are critical to success in all subject areas, hence, this guide provides a methodology that can be easily replicated for teachers of science, mathematics, health education, visual and performing arts, and career technical education....

Civic Provocations - This Bringing Theory to Practice monograph consists of informal essays and provocations that support and deepen inclusive and intentional campus-based consideration of an institution’s own civic mission and the civic mission of higher education today. The monograph is designed to be used as an aid to educators for their own campus conversation—their own “civic seminar.” The monograph features suggestions for how educators could effectively generate a civic seminar, along with guiding questions that could assist those conversations in moving to a deeper level—and, most importantly, lead to institutional actions. (Bringing Theory to Practice, 2012)...

Fault Lines in our Democracy: Civic Knowledge, Voting Behavior, and Civic Engagement in the United States - This report from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) examines "fault lines" in U.S. democracy including a lack of civics knowledge among students, and the fact that the likelihood of voting and volunteering is strongly related to one's age, education, literacy and numeracy skills, and income level. The authors offer ideas about how to create an educated and skilled citizenry to keep our democracy vital and strong. (Educational Testing Service, April 2012) ...

U.S. Education Reform and National Security - This report finds that the United States' failure to educate its students leaves it unprepared to compete and threatens the country's ability to thrive in a global economy and maintain its leadership role. The Task Force proposes three overarching policy recommendations: Implement educational expectations and assessments in subjects vital to protecting national security; make structural changes to provide students with good choices; and launch a "national security readiness audit" to hold schools and policymakers accountable for results and to raise public awareness. (Council on Foreign Relations, March 2012)...

Highlights from a Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy's Future - The paper calls for investing in higher education's capacity to make civic learning and democratic engagement widely shared national priorities. The report calls on higher education and many partners in education, government, and public life to advance 21st century conception of civic learning and democratic engagement as an expected part of every student's college education. (National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement, N/A)...

Civic Health and Unemployment: Can Engagement Strengthen the Economy - This 2011 Issue Brief, released by the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), Civic Enterprises, The Saguaro Seminar: Civic Engagement in America, and the National Constitution Center, explores the thesis that civic health matters for economic resilience. (National Conference on Citizenship, September 2011)...

Civic Life in America: Key Findings on the Civic Health of the Nation - This fact sheet provides an overview of key national findings from the annual Civic Health Assessment, known as Civic Life in America. The assessment, produced by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) details the ways people get involved in communities across the country and work to make a difference. (National Conference on Citizenship, September 2011)...

Contested Curriculum: How Teachers and Citizens View Civics Education - American Enterprise Institute surveyed 1,000 Americans to find out what they believe high schools should be teaching students about citizenship and whether students actually learn those things. The results were then compared to the findings of an earlier survey of high school civics and social studies teachers. Among the findings: (1) Americans think high-schoolers lack rudimentary knowledge about American history and government; (2) When teachers were asked to rate their confidence that students have mastered important concepts and skills, the results never topped 50 percent for any item. (American Enterprise Institute, June 2011) ...

Civics 2010: National Assessment of Educational Progress at Grades 4, 8 and 12 - This report provides a summary of fourth-, eighth- and twelfth-grade students' performance on the 2010 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) in civics. In general, scores for students in fourth grade have risen, eighth graders' scores have remained relatively constant, and twelfth graders' scores have dropped since the 1998 and 2006 NAEP in civics. (NCES/IES, May 2011)...

The Civic and Political Significance of Online Participatory Cultures Among Youth Transitioning to Adulthood - Drawing on two large panel studies, the authors find that youth engagement in nonpolitical online participatory cultures may serve as a gateway to participation in important aspects of civic and political life, including volunteering, community problem-solving, protest activities and political voice. (Youth and Participatory Politics and DML Central, February 2011)...

Youth Online Activities and Exposure to Diverse Perspectives - Drawing on a panel survey of the online practices of youth (ages 16-21) and on their civic and political echo chambers or divergent perspectives. Rather, most youth are exposed to views that align with and diverge from their own, or they are exposed to neither. Further, students' political interest, particular forms of online participation and digital media literacy eduction can promote greater exposure to these diverse perspectives. (Youth and Participatory Politics and DML Central, December 2010)...

Digital Media Literacy Education and Online Civic and Political Participation - The authors of this study sought to understand the relationships between digital media education, media literacy and civic and political engagement. Using survey data they collected in California high schools, the authors argue that digital media literacy education is an important component of schooling because it can help promote students' interest and engagement in political discourse. (Youth and Participatory Politics and DML Central, November 2010)...

2010 Civic Health Assessment: Executive Summary - The Civic Health Assessment measures America's civic habits across a wide range of indicators in an effort to strengthen citizen participation in communities, states and the nation. The report is based on research conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among the key findings: In these tough economic times, Americans are rolling up their sleeves, gathering with neighbors and helping to solve the problems facing their communities. (National Conference on Citizenship 2010)...

High Schools, Civics and Citizenship: What Social Studies Teachers Think and Do - This study revolves around the essential question: What are teachers trying to teach our youth about citizenship and what it means to be an American? The findings are based on a national, random sample survey of 866 public high school social studies teachers, an over-sample survey of 245 Catholic and private high school social studies teachers, and three focus groups. Social studies teachers are in the trenches and can report not only on their own attitudes, priorities and behaviors but also on what is actually happening in high schools and school district. (American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, September 2010)...

Civic Life in America: Key Findings on the Civic Health of the Nation - This Issue Brief features national statistics, findings and key trends on civic engagement. These statistics, many of which are now published for the first time, are produced through a partnership between the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC). (CNCS/NCoC, September 2010)...

International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS) - The purpose of the ICCS is to investigate ways in which young people are prepared to undertake their roles as citizens in a range of countries. The study's reports focus on student achievement on a test of conceptual understanding and competencies in civic and citizenship education, and provide data and analyses about student dispositions and attitudes relating to citizenship and civic education. There will be five reports, three are currently available: Initial Findings Report; Extended International Report; and European Report. Links for the Asian and Latin American reports will be added when available. (IEA, 2010) ...

No Excuses: Eleven Schools and Districts that Make Preparing Students for Citizenship a Priority, and How Others Can Do It, Too - This report provides an examination of 11 schools and districts that prioritize their civic mission and embed civic learning into the core school experience of every student. Based on comparative analysis of these cases, the authors offer five common elements for sustainable and systemic civic learning that educators, policymakers and advocates can use to help schools and districts meet their civic mission. (Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, January 2010)...

The Classroom-Kitchen Table Connection: The Effects of Political Discussions on Youths' Knowledge and Efficacy - In this working paper, the authors find that the combination of reading news articles and discussing them at home and school related to increased information-seeking and political knowledge among students who were not in advanced placement and honors classes. They also found that students who were assigned to discuss articles at home with parents and who had parents who scored low on measures of political knowledge and efficacy, were the most likely to have increased scores on both dimensions by the end of the experiment. These results could provide guidance for those looking for ways to involve parents in reinforcing classroom experiences by extending political discussions to the home as well. (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, August 2010)...

Inquiry-Based Instruction and Civic Engagement - VIDEO This YouTube video features Ann Cook discussing the importance of inquiry-based instruction for developing the student's ability to hear multiple perspectives on any given issue and to be able to analyze the key elements of each opinion in the process of owning their own opinion....

A Five-Year Evaluation of a Comprehensive High School Civic Engagement Initiative - In September 2003, Hudson High School in Massachusetts launched two new civic development efforts - clustering and school-wide governance - providing an opportunity to study the influence of school-wide democratic deliberation on students' civic knowledge and participation. Clusters of 100-150 students met for one hour a week to discuss governance and other school-related issues. Successive classes of twelfth graders have shown improvements on measures of community service and political knowledge and the improvements have been widespread in the student body. (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, March 2010)...

Paths to 21st Century Competencies Through Civic Education Classrooms: An Analysis of Survey Result From Ninth-Graders - Interest is high on the part of business leaders, as well as the general public, in the competencies that young people will need to thrive in an economy that is rapidly changing, global in scope and technology driven. Educators are urged to ensure that young people acquire 21st century skills and competencies by the time they leave school. Students who experience interactive discussion-based civic education score the highest on 21st century competencies, including working with others and knowledge of economic and political processes. (Judith Torney-Purta and Britt Wilkenfeld, American Bar Association Division for Public Education, October 2009)...

Democracy for Some: The Civic Opportunity Gap in High School - In a study of high school civic opportunities, the authors found that a student’s race and academic track, and a school’s average socioeconomic status (SES) determines the availability of the school-based civic learning opportunities that promote voting and broader forms of civic engagement. High school students attending higher SES schools, those who are college-bound, and white students get more of these opportunities than low-income students, those not heading to college and students of color. (Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement...

Civic Health Index - This report examines the civic-health index in America, measuring 40 indicators over nine categories: (1) connecting to civic and religious groups, (2) trusting other people, (3) connecting to others through family and friends, (4) giving and volunteering, (5) staying informed, (6) understanding civics and politics, (7) participating in politics, (8) trusting and feeling connected to major institutions and (9) expressing political views. The report finds that although there are some signs of civic recovery in the last few years, civic health in the United States shows steep declines over the last 30 years. The most hopeful signs are a rebound in volunteering, especially youth volunteering, over the last decade, and increasing political engagement since the late 1990s. (The National Conference on Citizenship, September 2007) ...


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