Below are additional resources related to civic learning and education. Please note that any information or materials on external sites was not produced or endorsed by Power of Democracy Steering Committee members. In addition, some reports may require a subscription to view.
Related Web Sites
- Arsalyn Program
The Arsalyn Program of the Ludwick Family Foundation was created to encourage young Americans to become informed and active participants in the electoral process. The program sponsors several projects that allow youth to become involved in the civic process.
- California Association of Student Leaders (CASL)
The California Association of Student Leaders provides an annual conference for high school and middle school student government leaders. The group is governed by a student Board of Directors and is sponsored by the California Association of Directors of Activities.
- California Campus Compact
As the only coalition that brings together the diverse collection of California colleges and universities together around a common commitment to higher education’s civic purposes, California Campus Compact is a powerful ally in making the case for civic engagement, public service and student involvement in campus-community partnerships – and for sustaining the momentum for higher education’s public service role in California.
- California Courts Civics Education
This project of the Judicial Council of California features resources for educators, students, attorneys and the general public about the judicial branch and its role in our democracy.
- California Democracy Schools
The California Democracy School Project is designed to institutionalize civic learning in high schools to prepare ALL students for college, career, and citizenship in the 21st century.
- California Forward
CA Fwd is driven to make the promise of the California Dream attainable for all. Its mission is to inspire better decision-making by governments at all levels in order to: grow middle-class jobs, promote cost-effective public services, and create accountability for results.
- California YMCA Youth & Government
The YMCA is a cause-driven organization that focuses on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. California YMCA Youth & Government is an integral part of the YMCA movement and has been providing service to local YMCAs for more than 64 years. They now engage over 3,000 middle school and high school youth each year from across the state in programs emphasizing civic involvement.
- Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools
Focused on implementing strategies outlined in the report “Guardian of Democracy: The Civic Mission of Schools,” which provides a comprehensive look at the role civic learning plays in maintaining our democracy, examines the major problems confronting civic learning, shows six proven practices in effective civic learning and provides recommendations for policymakers, educators and all citizens.
- Center for Civic Education
The Center is dedicated to promoting an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy in the United States and other countries.
- The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE)
CIRCLE conducts research on civic education in schools, colleges, and community settings and on young Americans’ voting and political participation, service, activism, media use, and other forms of civic engagement. It is based at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University.
- Civics Renewal Network
The Civics Renewal Network is a consortium of nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations committed to strengthening civic life in the U.S. by increasing the quality of civics education in our nation’s schools and by improving accessibility to high-quality, no-cost learning materials. On the Civics Renewal Network site, teachers can find the best resources of these organizations, searchable by subject, grade, resource type, standards, and teaching strategy.
- Constitutional Rights Foundation
The Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) is a non-profit, non-partisan, community-based organization dedicated to educating America’s young people about the importance of civic participation in a democratic society.
EDDA believes all students should have access to civic action and digital literacy learning opportunities and that the most efficient and equitable way to reach all students is to provide these opportunities in the classroom
- Facing History and Ourselves
Facing History and Ourselves was created by educators who believed that instilling intellectual vigor and curiosity goes hand-in-hand with teaching facts and figures. The group provides training, professional development, and resources that support the practical needs, and the spirits, of educators worldwide who share the goal of creating a better, more informed, and more thoughtful society.
- Generation Citizen
Generation Citizen works to ensure that every student in the United States receives an effective action civics education, which provides them with the knowledge and skills necessary to participate in our democracy as active citizens.
Founded and led by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, iCivics provides students with the tools they need for active participation and democratic action, and teachers with the materials and support to achieve this. Free resources include print-and-go lesson plans, award-winning games, and digital interactives.
- Junior Statesmen Foundation
In the student-run Junior State and at Junior State of America summer schools and summer institutes, participants learn statesmanship as they engage in political discourse. They cultivate democratic leadership skills, challenge one another to think critically, advocate their own opinions, develop respect for opposing views and learn to rise above self-interest to promote the public good.
- The LegiSchool Project
The LegiSchool Project is a civic education collaboration between California State University, Sacramento, and the California State Legislature, administered by the Center for California Studies. The Project’s mission is to engage young people in matters of public policy and state government by creating opportunities for students and state leaders to meet and share ideas on the problems affecting Californians.
- Literacy and the Law
Literacy and the Law is designed to engage your K-12 students in civics, language arts, and visual and performing arts through units of study that include appealing mock trials.
- Mikva Challenge
Mikva Challenge is a non-partisan, not for profit founded on the premise that youth voice and participation matter, and that our civic and political life will be stronger when youth participate and help shape their own destinies.
- My Digital Chalkboard
California Department of Education Website where educators can share lesson plans and professional development resources.
- National Conference on Citizenship
NCoC pursues its mission through a nationwide network of partners involved in a cutting-edge civic health initiative and cross-sector conferences. At the core of these joint efforts is the belief that every person has the ability to help their community and country thrive.
- National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center is the first and only institution in America established by Congress to “disseminate information about the United States Constitution on a non-partisan basis in order to increase the awareness and understanding of the Constitution among the American people.” The Constitution Center brings the United States Constitution to life by hosting interactive exhibitions and constitutional conversations and inspires active citizenship by celebrating the American constitutional tradition.
- Pepperdine’s Davenport Institute
The mission of the Davenport Institute is to help build stronger communities in California by promoting public participation in local governance. We work with local governments, non-profit organizations, and residents to both promote and support constructive and broad-based civic involvement in decisions that affect people where they live and work.
- Public Policy Institute of California
The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank. We are dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research.
- Street Law
Street Law develops classroom and grassroots programs that educate students and communities about law, democracy, and human rights. The approach is practical, relevant, and experiential, blending legal content with innovative hands-on teaching strategies that actively engage students and program participants in the learning process.
- Brown Center Report on American Education: An Inventory of State Civics Requirements
Brown Center on Education Policy, 2018 States adopt standards and coursework requirements to define what knowledge and skills their schools are responsible for teaching students. These state policies, when well designed, can facilitate high-quality instructional practice across the state. In the context of rising concerns over civics education, then, an important question is whether state academic requirements incorporate core components of a rigorous civics education.
- Civic-Learning Compendium for the California History-Social Science Framework
Constitutional Rights Foundation, Los Angeles County Office of Education, 2017 The new History-Social Science Framework provides a number of ideas and strategies for increasing students’ civic knowledge and skills. This compendium was designed to provide additional action-oriented instructional practices to strengthen civic knowledge, civic participatory skills, and civic dispositions for all students at all grade levels. In order for students to become fully engaged, responsible citizens, they need to practice being engaged citizens during their K-12 educational experience
- Democracy at a Crossroads
Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, Tufts University, 2017 The report frames a renewal of civic education as a necessary response to the crisis in our republic, which takes the form of deep polarization and distrust. Because the political and civic context has changed (and because there is little evidence that civic education was ever adequate), we cannot be satisfied with a return to the past. Civic education needs innovation.
- Youth Civic Development and Education
Center on Adolescence, Stanford University and Center for Multicultural Education, University of Washington, 2014 Despite the clear urgency of this mission, civic education as practiced in schools throughout the United States is not preparing students for effective participation in civic life. Few young people are sufficiently motivated to become engaged in civic and political activity. Students are not finding inspiration in civic values as taught in schools today, nor are they gaining a sense that they are able to engage effectively in civic and political domains. Not surprisingly, sectors of the population from low-income and marginalized communities have been most affected by what has been called the “civic engagement gap.” But in fact the problem extends to every sector of the contemporary youth population. It is difficult to find significant numbers of young people from any sector who have enough interest in civic affairs to inspire any aspirations to present or future civic leadership. Such a lack of civic preparation and motivation among the young places the future of our democracy in great peril.