Author: Brian


What Is Project Citizen and How Does It Relate to Civics?

Picture of the cover of the Project Citizen brochure

Project Citizen is a project-based learning program created by the Center for Civic Education. It teaches students about public policy. It does so by leading them through the process of researching a problem and developing a proposal for the government to address that problem. The program is based on a textbook developed by the Center for […]


Impact of NJ Student Learning Standards in Social Studies on Civics

A bottomless pit of books

In theory, social studies is supposed to incorporate a lot of things – history, geography, civics, economics. These themes should all be infused throughout a social studies course. But the way New Jersey’s Student Learning Standards are set up, one type of content reigns supreme: history. New Jersey’s standards put so much emphasis on history […]

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What Is the StudentCam Competition and How Does It Relate to Civics?

Close up of a student looking down at a video camera while filming.

StudentCam is an annual competition hosted by C-SPAN for middle and high school students. C-SPAN sets a theme for each year’s contest, and students create a 5-7 minute video related to that theme. In the process, students must navigate the C-SPAN video archive and demonstrate a deep understanding of concepts in civics and government. This […]


A Better Legislative Approach to Improving Civics Education in New Jersey

A civics oriented picture of the United States Constitution laid over an American flag.

There are people out there advocating for the U.S. Citizenship test to be administered as a graduation requirement. Like we discussed last week, this is a bad idea. This legislation passed in some states, including Arizona and Wisconsin, and legislators introduced it in others. It’s not hard to see why. Just about everyone agrees that […]


Take a Stand: Gauging Where Students Are on Controversial Issues

A take a stand activity with six silhouettes standing in a row with speech bubbles saying "Raise the Wage!" and "Don't Do It!"

The “Take a Stand” activity is a method for teaching controversial issues. The idea is simple. You ask a controversial question, and students line up according to their opinion. This can be used as an introductory activity, as a formative assessment, or as a closure activity. The method is also sometimes called the “continuum” method […]