Category: General

General

How Illinois Revised Its Civics Ed Requirements

Throughout the country, legislators are struggling to figure out how to improve civics education. Many people agree on the goal. They just don’t agree on the methods. In some cases, legislators have pursued misguided attempts to implement the citizenship test as a graduation requirement. This won’t do much, other than adding another barrier to graduation […]

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General

Impact of NJ Student Learning Standards in Social Studies on Civics

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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General

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 […]

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General

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 […]

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What Is Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) and How Does It Relate to Civics?

A student is speaking into a microphone sharing her research, while two other students stand in the background waiting for their turn to speak.

Youth Participatory Action Research is a way to engage students in investigating an issue of concern that they see in their community. Once they’ve done their research, the students then work on a plan to tackle that issue and make their community better. I first encountered Youth Participatory Action Research – or YPAR – when […]

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General

Test Don’t Teach: This Is Not How You Fix Civics Education

Hand taking a standardized test.

Legislators take note – tests are not the right answer. They’re an easy answer. They’re a simple answer. But they don’t make education better, and they’re not the way to make civics education better. While searching for some civics related info earlier tonight, I stumbled upon this gem: Civics Education Initiative. It’s an innocuous sounding […]

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General

National Voter Registration Day: Do Your Part to Increase Participation This Year

Two pairs of hands, with the one on the left filling out a voter registration form.

Did you know that New Jersey law requires that schools help students register to vote? Well, not exactly. To be more specific, New Jersey Administrative Code 6A:32-14.1 does state … District boards of education […] shall provide to each eligible high school student prior to the school year’s graduation date a voter registration form, a […]

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General

The Civic Pledge: Moving Beyond Politics, Civics Is Also Character Education

A forum with candidates for NJ Governor and the Citizens Campaign.

The Citizens Campaign is a non-profit that empowers citizens to be civic leaders in their community. One part of their programming is the civic trust – a group of community members who regularly meet to discuss issues facing their community and craft solutions to present to the appropriate stakeholders. Prior to joining the civic trust, […]

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