Guest Column Back to top.
Readers of Citizenship Matters may remember a Guest Column written by Doug Hart when he was teaching in Ramallah on the West Bank. He's now teaching in Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Kentucky, attempting as he says, to integrate "authentic civic engagement, service and the WORLD OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL to my 10th-grade civics and history classes."
What States Are Doing Back to top.
SOUTH CAROLINA, WYOMING AND VIRGINIA are home to teachers who have received 2009 American Civic Education Teacher Awards. Sponsored by the Center for Civic Education, The Center on Congress at Indiana University and the National Education Association, the awards honor elementary and secondary teachers who have done an outstanding job of preparing their students to become active, principled citizens.
Good Reads Back to top.
Growing to Greatness 2009 is now available from the National Youth Leadership Council. Bill Hughes, NCLC Executive Board and District Leader Network member, and Bill Erickson, District Leader Network member, co-authored the chapter titled "From Program to Policy: Institutionalizing Service-Learning in Urban Schools from AN ADMINISTRATOR’S PERSPECTIVE."
The Gallup Student Poll National Report, which details results of a poll of students in grades 5 - 12, is now available. A collaboration of Gallup, America’s Promise Alliance and the American Association of School Administrators, the survey measures student levels of HOPE, ENGAGEMENT AND WELL-BEING. For more information, visit the America’s Promise Alliance Web site.
A new policy brief, TRANSFORMING URBAN EDUCATION: IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE POLICYMAKERS, looks at four possible scenarios for the future of urban education and details three recommendations to state policymakers which could have a positive effect on urban school districts. Service-learning stands out as one of those recommendations, incorporating learning that is relevant and engaging youth in activities that improve the community.
Also new from America's Promise Alliance is CITIES IN CRISIS 2009 CLOSING THE GRADUATION GAP. As the title suggests, the report highlights graduation rates, 10-year trends and the economic outlook for high school dropouts.
NCLC News Back to top.
NCLC’s 100 District Leaders for Civic Engagement and Service-Learning is currently accepting APPLICATIONS FOR NEW MEMBERS of the network. This cadre of district superintendents and school board members from across the nation is selected based on leadership and commitment to integrate and sustain high-quality citizenship (or civic) education and service-learning in their districts, and to increase awareness of this important teaching and learning method with peers in their states and throughout the nation. To access application information, please click on the link below.
Meetings & Events Back to top.
ECS is looking forward to the annual National Forum on Education Policy, July 8-10, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. Join us in Nashville as we explore how education can be an engine to ignite the economy. Whether your state is challenged by making the shift from early learning to the early grades or from middle school and high school to college and career preparation — The ECS National Forum on Education Policy isthe place for answers. The 2009 National Forum will feature more than 30 sessions — highlighted by POWERFUL DIALOGUES AND DEEP DISCUSSIONS on a broad spectrum of current education challenges. For further information about the forum, visit the ECS Web site.
Of particular interest to readers of Citizenship Matters may be a concurrent session on July 10 titled ASSESSING 21ST CENTURY SKILLS. Shelley Billig will facilitate this session which asks the question: How can we ensure students master 21st century skills and how can we assess them? In our field of service-learning and citizenship education, we’ve always known how important skills like critical thinking and teamwork are. Now the rest of the country is starting to think so, too.
Members of the 100 DISTRICT LEADERS NETWORK (DLN) will hold their annual meeting July 8, 2009, in conjunction with the ECS National Forum. Areas of discussion will include the DLN strategic plan, marketing and recruitment strategies.
"DIVERSITY AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT" is the theme of the 7th Annual American Democracy Project National Meeting, June 11-13, 2009, in Baltimore, MD.
Names in the News Back to top.
ELIZABETH BURMASTER, retiring Wisconsin superintendent of public instruction, has accepted the position of President of Nicolet College in Rhinelander, WI. Burmaster is a member of the NCLC Executive Board and served as its chair 2004-06.
LOU ANN EVANS, District Leader Network northeast regional lead, has joined the Pennsylvania Learn and Serve Statewide Advisory Board. Evans is a member of the State College Area School District School Board.
The 2009 Service-Learning Leadership Practitioner Award was presented to Beverly Hiott at the National Youth Leadership Council's National Service-Learning Conference. Hiott oversees service-learning programs for all 22 schools in the Richland Two School District whose superintendent, DR. STEPHEN HEFNER, is a member of the NCLC Executive Board and the District Leaders Network.
Hurst Middle School in Luling, Louisiana, has been selected by the National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC) as the only middle school in the United States to be filmed as the national example for middle school service-learning projects. The filming is part of an NYLC curriculum development project around standards for service-learning quality practice. Hurst is in the St. Charles Parish Public School District whose superintendent, RODNEY LAFON, is a member of NCLC's District Leaders Network.
Updates from NACE Back to top.
Citizenship Matters regularly features new information available on the NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR CIVIC EDUCATION'S (NACE) Web site. NACE comprises over 200 group and individual members committed to advancing civic knowledge and engagement.
Other Useful Web sites Back to top.
American Psychological Association has a Civic Engagement and Service-Learning Web site which is intended to introduce faculty, teachers, students, researchers, clinicians and community partners to the CONNECTIONS between psychological work, the pedagogy of service-learning and issues of civic engagement. Useful links include partnerships, research and APA resources.
OUR COURTS is a free, interactive, Web-based program designed to teach students civics and inspire them to be active participants in our democracy. Our Courts is the vision of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who is concerned that students are not getting the information and tools they need for civic participation, and that civics teachers need better materials and support. On this site, you will find information and useful teaching resources for an engaging civics curriculum.
Democracy Web is composed of an interactive world map and an online study guide developed by the Albert Shanker Institute and Freedom House for use by teachers, professors and their upper secondary- and lower college-level students. The study guide and map offer an overview of the basic architecture of democracy, give historical background information and provide a framework for comparing the state of political rights and civil liberties in different countries around the world. Through this comparative studies format, STUDENTS ARE CHALLENGED to think critically about the reasons for the ebb and flow of democracy in different regions and different eras. To find out more, visit their Web site.
International Focus Back to top.
At a MEETING IN NEW DELHI recently, over 100 people met to discuss youth development and ways to nurture active citizenship. Attendees from India, Nepal, South Africa and the United States examined challenges and opportunities in supporting youth engagement.
YOUTH DEVELOPMENT through Civic Engagement: Mapping Assets in South Asia is a working document published by ICICP. According to the paper the research "seeks to provide a framework to better understand the field of youth civic engagement in Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India."
The Washington Post reports on a CHILDREN'S PARLIAMENT in Varanasi, India. Led by a 9-year-old, the parliament was elected by children ages 6-13. Members serve only one term in office and deal with issues of child hunger, domestic violence and caste discrimination. According to the Post, "with its passionate leaders and reputation for prompt action, the four-member children's parliament has become an example of honest, functional politics."