When educators, policymakers, and community members speak about education as essential to success in career and life, civic learning is rarely factored into the equation; instead, civic learning is too often relegated to the sidelines where it is perceived very narrowly in scope and not by the long-term effects and opportunities it can afford students. Unfortunately, this disinterest has generated gaps in the exposure and quality of civic education, perpetuating a trend in which those who miss out on civic learning opportunities and thus those least prepared to engage in civic life tend to be students of color and low-income youth.
A comprehensive civics curriculum demonstrates value both within and beyond the classroom, equipping all students with fundamental skills (such as collaboration, deliberation, and public speaking) that are critical for achieving academic success, thriving in today’s workforce, and effectively participating in public life.
CIRCLE has released an expansive report providing an overview of the current state of civic education, voting, and political engagement among youth, with recommendations for improvement deriving from a fundamental change in the way in which civic education is made accessible and carried out—a change that acknowledges the need to move from an approach focused on facts and figures to one that embraces collaboration and deliberation (civic skills in and of themselves that are also much required in the workplace).
Read below for a brief overview of the report, and then visit CIRCLE to learn more about ways you can use and apply the report.
“‘All Together Now: Collaboration and Innovation for Youth Engagement’ is a new, data-driven report from CIRCLE (Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement), whose scholarly research informs policy and practice for healthier youth development and a better democracy. The report is the final product of the distinguished and scholarly Commission on Youth Voting and Civic Knowledge, which CIRCLE brought together to take a broad view and consider a wide range of potential influences on political knowledge and engagement. The result is a detailed yet wide-ranging look at the current state of civic education, informed voting, and political engagement of the nation’s youth. The report makes a compelling case that strengthening youth participation will require concerted efforts from every corner of our society.”