Celebrate Bill of Rights Day with 60-Second Civics

Dec 12, 2012 / 60-Second Civics, Announcements, Volume 4, Issue 1

In honor of Bill of Rights Day 60-Second Civics is launching a daily podcast and quiz series on the Bill of Rights on December 13. The series will continue for several months. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Use Project Citizen in a Science Classroom

Dec 07, 2012 / E-news, Project Citizen, Volume 4, Issue 1

Professors Carie Green of the Department of Education Foundations at Idaho State University and William Medina-Jerez of the Department of Teacher Education at the University of Texas–El Paso co-authored an article on the use of the Center’s Project Citizen in the teaching of science. The article appeared in the December 2012 edition of The Science Teacher, which is a publication of the National Science Teachers Association. The article shows “the multidisciplinary Project Citizen approach to teaching and learning science and engaging students in action-oriented citizen science.”
The authors say that “Project Citizen teaches students to research and understand the positions of various stakeholders who may have diverse viewpoints on an issue. Ultimately, students come to their own conclusions and approaches to solving the problem. Students can address controversial issues such as the loss of jobs versus the enforcement of environmental regulations. Teachers can guide students to prevent tensions between local residents and organizations and companies that support the local economy.”
They observe that “Project Citizen teaches students that community problems are complex and the solutions do not always please everyone. The goal is to devise solutions that take all shareholders’ interests into account. Project Citizen’s success is partially due to its student-centered nature, so teachers should encourage student ownership from the very beginning.”
They show how Project Citizen aligns with the best practices described in A Framework for K–12 Science Education (National Research Council 2012) and how it addresses both the Science as Inquiry and the Science in Personal and Social Perspectives National Science Education Standards (NRC 1996).
They conclude that Project Citizen “expands on the notion of citizen science through coupling scientific inquiry with civic literacy to address real-world problems. It engages students in STEM learning and environmental activism. Students learn that it is possible for them to identify problems, approach the relevant regulatory agencies, and affect decision making in their community.”

Professors Carie Green of the Department of Education Foundations at Idaho State University and William Medina-Jerez of the Department of Teacher Education at the University of Texas–El Paso co-authored an article on the use of the Center’s Project Citizen in the teaching of science. Read the rest of this entry »

In Memoriam: Ron Morris, 1940-2012

Dec 04, 2012 / Civitas International Programs, In Memoriam, Volume 4, Issue 1

Ron Morris, a master teacher who, after thirty years in the classroom, joined the staff at the Center for Civic Education, passed away from the complications of Alzheimer’s disease on November 24.   Read the rest of this entry »

Project Citizen Piloted in Bihar

Aug 03, 2012 / Civitas International Programs, Project Citizen, Volume 4, Issue 1

Project Citizen Piloted in Bihar
Body Copy:
1500 students in India’s Bihar state participated in Learning Links Foundation’s Hindi adaptation of the Center for Civic Education’s Project Citizen curricular program. Pictured are students conducting field work in a rural community.
Full Story:
Sixty-six teachers and 1,500 students in government-run schools of India’s Bihar state recently participated in the Project Citizen curricular program, marking the first time Project Citizen was implemented in the Hindi language in this rural state. Working in collaborative groups, students in eighth and ninth grade identified problems in their communities and developed policy proposals to address these issues.
Learning Links Foundation (www.learninglinksindia.org), the Center’s Civitas International Programs partner, received support from the Public Affairs Office of the United States Embassy in India to conduct the program. Learning Links conducted professional development sessions for participating teachers in February 2012. The teachers then implemented the interactive, project-based curriculum with students in their classrooms. The students researched local issues, selected an issue to address, identified alternative policies for dealing with the issues selected, and developed policy proposals and action plans to promote those policies.
Upon completing their projects, the students presented their policy proposals to an audience of local leaders, educators, lawyers, and the media. Issues addressed by the students included: protection of women, strengthening governance, human rights issues, sanitation, environmental conservation, and harmony in society.
A student from Sakriya Naagrik commented, “Out of all the topics we received, our group chose to work on child labor. Children being exploited are children like us. We believe that they should get an opportunity just like us. We researched on the government policies that exist with regard to child labor and came up with our own set of proposed action such as providing the parents with employable skills or with jobs. This could help us in eradicating child labor and think instead about the children’s welfare.”
After observing the students’ presentations, Mr. Kartikeya, Indian Administrative Service Sub Divisional Magistrate, Danapur, spoke about how much society has to lose if citizens are passive. He observed that the students have already started at a young age the work that adults engage in while active in the fields of politics, social work, and government services. Emphasizing life skills, he shared how in today’s competitive world it is important to go beyond jobs, salaries, higher degrees, and a comfortable life, and display mental development, will power, resilience, confidence, and communication. Interacting with the students, he sensed that they displayed these qualities and skills.
Project Citizen, as it is used in India, is an adaptation of materials originally developed by the Center for Civic Education (www.civiced.org). Through the program, students learn how to monitor and influence public policy. Project Citizen has been adapted for use in more than sixty-five countries around the world.

About 1,500 students in India’s Bihar state participated in Learning Links Foundation’s Hindi adaptation of the Center for Civic Education’s Project Citizen curricular program. Pictured are students conducting field work in a rural community.

Students conduct field work in a rural community.

Students conduct field work in a rural community.

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We the People Now Available on Amazon’s Kindle

Jul 22, 2012 / Announcements, Volume 4, Issue 1, We the People

There’s great news for those of you who love to read on your iPads, Kindles, iPhones, and other devices: We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution, which happens to be the world’s best civics textbook for high school students, is now available for only $9.99 in the Kindle Store: http://www.amazon.com/We-People-High-School-ebook/dp/B008N5QKHQ/

We the People is now available on Amazon's Kindle. Coming soon: iBooks.

We the People is now available on Amazon's Kindle. Coming soon: iBooks.

As with all Kindle ebooks, you can now read We the People wherever you are, online or offline. Students and teachers will benefit from the Kindle app’s many features: highlighting, notetaking, lending to other users (that’s right!), and adjusting font and size, among many others.

The Kindle edition of We the People makes the perfect choice for students who want the flexibility of reading the book on their favorite device wherever they are. Parents can use it to follow along with their kids, help answer questions they might have, and actually understand what they are talking about at the dinner table.

The Kindle edition of We the People joins Project Citizen as the second of the Center’s textbooks to be available for the Kindle (Project Citizen can be purchased here: http://www.amazon.com/Project-Citizen-Level-Grades-ebook/dp/B005M556F2).

Over the next month, the Center will be rolling out two more Kindle ebooks: the middle school (Level 2) and elementary school (Level 1) editions of We the People.

And stay tuned, because the Center is also rolling out these same student textbooks for Apple’s iBooks.

Schools that wish to purchase large quantities (25 or more copies) of We the People can contact Mark Gage (gage@civiced.org) for more information.

One-Year Civic Education and Social Studies Teaching Positions Available in China

May 30, 2012 / Announcements, Volume 4, Issue 1

Note: Applications are no longer being accepted for the positions described below.

The Center for Civic Education is pleased to pass on to you the following one-year teaching opportunity in China. The opportunity involves a one-year civic education pilot program in a local school district in Shenzhen, a major city in southern China immediately north of Hong Kong.
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Yes She Can!

May 29, 2012 / Civitas International Programs, Volume 4, Issue 1

The Deir Ammar Primary School for Girls in the West Bank’s Deir Ammar refugee camp hosted a public meeting on May 5, 2012, to support ninth-grade students in their effort to establish an athletic club for girls in the camp.
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Tell Your Story: Submit Your We the People and Project Citizen Videos

Feb 14, 2012 / Message from the Center, Project Citizen, Volume 4, Issue 1, We the People

All of us who have been involved with the We the People Programs know that civic education empowers students and changes lives.
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Highlands High School Takes Kentucky State Championship

Feb 10, 2012 / 2012 National Finals, Volume 4, Issue 1

Highlands High School won the Kentucky state We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution championship on January 27. With the victory, the class earned the honor to represent Kentucky at the 25th Annual We the People National Finals at George Mason University and in Washington, D.C., April 27-May 1.
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Marshwood High School Wins in Maine

Feb 10, 2012 / 2012 National Finals, Volume 4, Issue 1

Students from Marshwood High School placed first in the Maine state We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution finals.
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