Guest Column Back to top.
Service-learning engages students, connects them to their community and is an especially relevant methodology for TEACHING CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION, writes Elizabeth Burmaster, Wisconsin state superintendent of public instruction and chairman-elect of the National Center for Learning and Citizenship board.
What States Are Doing Back to top.
A special provision of NORTH CAROLINA's 2003-05 budget, signed by Governor Mike Easely, encourages every state high school to have elected student councils through which students will build civic skills and attitudes, and have input into policies and decisions that affect them. It also encourages discussion of current events in a range of classes, including social studies and language arts (Part VII, Section 7.40 of House Bill 397).
The ARIZONA Board of Education has approved changes that boost high school social studies requirements. Students must study the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the lasting impact of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. While currently optional, these changes will be required for the 2004-05 school year.
In MAINE, Governor John Baldacci signed House Paper 333, establishing a Commission To Study the Scope and Quality of Citizenship Education. The Commission will submit a report of its findings and any recommended legislation by December 3, 2003.
In TEXAS, Governor Rick Perry signed Senate Concurrent Resolution 12, which urges public and private institutions of higher education to adopt service-learning as an important pedagogical tool and a central form of engagement, civic outreach and citizenship education.
Good Reads Back to top.
Former Senators John Glenn and Bob Dole co-authored an op-ed, "Sharing the 'Spirit of '76' with America's Young People," urging schools and communities to employ service-learning to rebuild CIVIC LEADERSHIP and knowledge among American youth.
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a public-private organization of leaders in business and education, has issued Learning for the 21st Century, a vision and framework of the education needs of the 21st century. The report identifies CIVIC LITERACY as one of three emerging critical content areas and highlights the need to teach academic content through real-world experiences, both inside and outside of school.
The National Service-Learning Partnership and the Academy for Educational Development recently announced the selection of eight W.K. Kellogg YOUTH INNOVATION FUND Phase One participants. Each site will receive a two-year, $200,000 grant to develop a youth-led philanthropy board and fund youth-driven innovations that address public issues and problems using a service-learning framework.
NCLC News Back to top.
The third annual EDUCATION LEADERSHIP COLLOQUIUM (ELC) took place in Denver, July 16-17, following The 2003 National Forum on Education Policy, sponsored by ECS. More than 100 policymakers, education leaders and students discussed the qualities of a civically educated student and how to achieve them, and corresponding education policies from K-12 to higher education. Anthony Welch, chairman of the National Service-Learning Partnership and member of the NCLC Board, delivered the ELC keynote address.
TWO NCLC BOARD MEMBERS, Michigan Representative Doug Hart and Indiana State Superintendent of Education Suellen Reed, talk about service-learning and citizenship education in brief videos on the NCLC Web site.
Meetings & Events Back to top.
The Wisconsin State Superintendent's Conference on SERVICE-LEARNING and CITIZENSHIP will take place September 18. Hosted by State Superintendent and NCLC Chair-Elect Elizabeth Burmaster, conference participants will focus on building a future for service-learning for students from preschool through college. Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle will deliver the keynote address.
The Congressional Conference on Civic Education, the first in a series of five annual conferences focused on the CIVIC MISSION of the nation's schools, will take place in Washington, D.C., September 20-22. The meeting will be convened by the Alliance for Representative Democracy, under the sponsorship of the U.S. Senate's majority and minority leaders.
Notes from the May 29-30 Thinkers Meeting on STUDENT CITIZENSHIP COMPETENCIES for K-12 students are available on the NCLC Web site. Led by Judith Torney-Purta, an international civics researcher and University of Maryland faculty member, the group of scholars, practitioners and policymakers created a framework for identifying what students across grade levels need to know and be able to do to become effective citizens. The framework will be released this fall. For more information, contact Susan Vermeer at email@example.com.
Names in the News Back to top.
RANDALL H. COLLINS, NCLC chairman, has been chosen to lead the International Children's Conference on the Environment's (ICC) Education Committee. The ICC will take place in New London, Connecticut, in July 2004, with hundreds of student delegates from across the globe serving as ambassadors for the environment.
The White House Office of the Press Secretary announced President Bush's intention to nominate DAVID EISNER to be chief executive officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Eisner will replace LESLIE LENKOWSKY, who will leave the agency on August 15 to return to academia.
International Focus Back to top.
According to Education Week, "In schools throughout JAPAN, patriotism has been making its way back into the daily routine." But all are not united in support of the revised national course of study encouraging lessons in grades 3 and 4 on Japanese culture, history and the nation's role internationally. (free registration required)
While working recently in England, Terry Pickeral, NCLC executive director, met with Will Ord, professional officer of the Association for Citizenship Teaching. Ord shared with Pickeral a brief introduction to citizenship education in ENGLAND.
A recent report by the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce showed that six U.K. SCHOOLS which implemented an experimental curriculum focused on five life skills, including citizenship, reported higher student test scores and decreased truancy rates, suspensions