What We’re Reading

November 17, 2016

Every other week, GC picks out a selection of articles that are relevant to our work and to the civic education space as a whole. This week’s articles focus on the importance of civics education and active citizenship in the aftermath of a tumultuous election. Three of these pieces are either authored by GC staff or feature GC students. We hope you enjoy our selections!

 

Is Trump’s Victory the Jump-Start Civics Education Needed?, The Atlantic

The divisive presidential election that just concluded could be a Sputnik moment for civics education. In this piece, the authors question whether schools are fulfilling the founders’ vision for an education system that prepares students to become informed voters who are passionate about democracy. They argue the United States must “invest more heavily in civics education, improving both the curriculum we teach students, and the democratic practices within schooling that young people observe.”

 

Don’t Let This Election Ruin Politics for You, TIME

In this op-ed published the morning after the election, Generation Citizen CEO Scott Warren and Vice Chair of the Board Gary Blank call on individuals to actively participate in politics, starting on the local level, rather than turning away because of dissatisfaction with polarization on the national level. Democracy works best when more people are engaged, and the responsibility to create a better politics lies with each of us.

 

Was Nov. 8 a massive failure of civics education? How one group reaches out to our youngest citizens, The Hechinger Report

Generation Citizen Rhode Island Executive Director Thomas Kerr-Vanderslice and New York Program Associate Nora Howe reflect on their experiences with students in the classroom in the immediate aftermath of the election. The authors convey the importance of teaching young people lessons about government and democracy at this time, and offer concrete suggestions for educators grappling with how to approach conversations about the election.

 

Teaching civics in an age of Trump, Christian Science Monitor

This feature story explores how “teachers are using the tumultuous election to reawaken Americans across the political spectrum to how vital civic knowledge is for making government truly by the people, for the people.” The story highlights the experiences of a GC student whose interest in politics was sparked by the action civics program.

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