In early April, Jason Fitzgerald (a professor at Wagner College on Staten Island who has taught college students volunteering with Generation Citizen and doing related activities), Barbara Ferman (a professor at Temple University and the director of the University Community Collaborative, a partner organization in the National Action Civics Collaborative), and I presented on preparing college students to facilitate action civics among K-12 students at AERA.
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) meeting is the largest educational research conference: over 13,000 people attended its annual meeting in Philadelphia this year. This is the third time we have presented on Generation Citizen at AERA. One of the exciting things about AERA is that it allows us the opportunity to showcase the work that we are doing to a national—and international—audience.
Our presentation identified areas of overlap between how Generation Citizen, the University Community Collaborative, and Jason and Barbara’s respective seminars help provide the civic knowledge, civic skills, and civic dispositions necessary for effective action civics. Important civic knowledge includes understanding the different forms civic engagement can take, identifying different strategies for taking action in response to a problem, and being able to map power dynamics. Relevant civic skills included cultural competence and humility, critical thinking, and reflective practice. The civic dispositions we emphasized all had an underlying social justice orientation and included valuing student-centered learning and valuing the community as an educative experience. A paper based on this presentation is now under review at an academic journal for further dissemination.
–Alison Cohen, Director of Research & Evaluation
Generation Citizen is a nonpartisan, 501(c)3 tax exempt organization which does not endorse candidates; our goal is to engage our staff, participants, and stakeholders in political and civic action on issues that matter to them personally and in their communities. The opinions expressed in this blog post are those of the writer alone and do not reflect the opinions of Generation Citizen.
Photo: from left to right: Barbara Ferman, Jason Fitzgerald, and Alison Cohen