What Works

The following core activities – “The Six Proven Practices” and three complimentary practices – are shown to improve the quality and effectiveness of civic learning both in and out of the classroom and ultimately build a stronger and more engaged society:

student presentation

Discussion of current events and controversial issues, including their relevance to young people’s lives

classroom instruction

Classroom instruction in government, history, law and democracy combining formal instruction of fact and documents with illustration and discussion demonstrating their relevance and application in today’s society

Justice Corps

Service learning experiences that are directly linked to curriculum and instruction and provide students a chance to apply what they are learning

extracurricular activities

Extracurricular activities that give students opportunities to get involved in their schools and communities and work together toward a common goal

Participation in school governance

Simulations of democratic processes that allow students to participate in simulated voting, trials, legislative deliberation, and diplomacy


Complimentary practices:

civic inquiry presentation

Civic learning inquiry arc

restorative justice presentation

School climate reform, including restorative justice


News media literacy education

student presentation

Social and emotional learning (SEL)


By implementing these practices in all schools for all K-12 students, we can build a stronger, healthier and more engaged democratic society.

Related Content

The Six Proven Practices

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Guardians of Democracy

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A resource to help schools implement the six proven practices of effective civic education

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