What Works

The following core activities – “The Six Proven Practices” and four 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:

The Six Proven Practices

current events

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

class contitution

Participation in school governance to cultivate a sense of responsibility and give young people a real voice in how their classroom and schools are run

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

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

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



Complimentary Practices

Civic learning inquiry arc

News media literacy education

School climate reform, including restorative justice

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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