Educating for American Democracy National Forum

After one of the most tumultuous years – politically, socially and economically – in recent history, many Americans are finding themselves in a state of disenchantment. “How did we get here?” is a question asked often, and “How can we fix this?” even more.

According to some of the nation’s most esteemed educators, the answer to the latter question starts in the classroom.

On March 2, The Schoo of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University, along with a diverse team of collaborators from iCivics, Harvard and Tufts University, released the Roadmap to Educating for American Democracy, a framework that reflects the work of more than 300 scholars, educators and practitioners with the goal to build excellence in civic and history education for all of America’s K–12 students.

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In the news

A Roadmap for Reforming Civic Education

Harvard Magazine

Several months before the invasion of the United States Capitol threw the nation’s seat of legislative power into peril, the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s survey on civic knowledge found that barely half of American adults can name all three branches of government, and 20 percent cannot name any rights protected by the First Amendment.

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Hundreds Of Scholars Across Political Spectrum Recommend New Curriculum For Civics

GBH News

Most states require students in fifth grade to learn historical facts like when the Intolerable Acts were passed (1774) or who was the primary author of the Constitution (John Adams). But a new report says that to fully prepare students to engage in civic life, kindergarten through 12th grade teachers need to go deeper than places and dates — even if the change proves controversial.

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Massive investment in social studies and civics education proposed to address eroding trust in democratic institutions

The Washington Post

The Educating for American Democracy (EAD) initiative will release a 36-page report and an accompanying 39-page road map Tuesday, laying out extensive guidance for improving and reimagining the teaching of social studies, history and civics and then implementing that over the next decade.

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Massive investment in civic education proposed to reinvigorate democracy

The Fulcrum

When this project started in October 2019, "our constitutional democracy was not in good shape," said Paul Carrese, founding director of the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University and one of the project leaders. "Now we are all pretty convinced that our constitutional democracy is in peril."

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New National Civics Guidelines Carve a Middle Path for Teachers in a Polarized Climate

Education Week

Released today, the “Roadmap to Educating for American Democracy” guidelines are part of an ambitious project to reverse decades of neglect of the social studies. But they also come in perhaps the most difficult era the discipline has ever faced and will likely face intense scrutiny as a result.

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Our Democracy is ailing. Civics education has to be part of the cure

Washington Post Op-Ed

Our constitutional democracy is ailing. If we didn’t know that before Jan. 6, the lesson was etched into our souls that day. And one major reason for our trouble is that for several generations we have failed to provide civic education in our K-12 schools.

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About the Report and Roadmap

The United States stands at a crossroads of peril and possibility. A healthy constitutional democracy demands reflective patriotism. In times of crisis, it is especially important that We the People unite love of country with clear-eyed wisdom about our successes and failures in order to chart our path forward. In recent decades, we as a nation have failed to prepare young Americans for self-government. The time has come to recommit to history and civic education. 

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When you give to the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, you invest in a new class of leaders. By giving, you support our mission to engage students in civic life through the investigation of great works of political, economic, civic, and moral thought. 

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