Our Democracy is Precarious
In a 2017 national survey, just 20 percent of Americans said they trusted the government to do what’s right for them always or most of the time, and only about one third of young adults said they’re optimistic about the nation’s future. When a government that aims to be of the people, by the people, and for the people, is only trusted by 20 percent of the people, something is significantly wrong.
What’s more? Disengagement from, and frustration with, the divisive nature of politics appears to be intensifying. In fact, a poll of teens in 2016 showed that most believe they’re living in a divided America, with four out of five teenagers saying that Americans are greatly divided on their most important values.
We believe that educators have a significant role to play in responding to these challenges.
Education for democracy can prepare our youth to learn about, engage with, and respond to complex civic and political issues in informed and effective ways.
The Educating for Democracy Deep Dive
For these reasons, we’re thrilled to announce the new Educating for Democracy Deep Dive, developed in partnership with the Civic Engagement Research Group at the University of California, Riverside. This Deep Dive is a curated collection of videos accompanied by educational resources, blogs, and articles related to preparing youth for civic and political life in the digital age.
You’ll find resources curated under the following essential questions that will help you explore various ways to integrate civic learning:
- INVESTIGATION & RESEARCH: How do I help students research issues that matter to them?
- CIVIC KNOWLEDGE: How do I help further students’ civic knowledge and understanding?
- DISCUSSION: How do I help students have productive discussions about current and controversial issues?
- VOICE: How can students voice their perspective on issues that matter to them?
- ACTION: What are effective ways to take action in the digital age?
- LEARN MORE: Where can I learn more and find resources?
We hope you find the Educating for Democracy Deep Dive helpful. We’ll be adding new content on an ongoing basis, so please keep checking back. If you’d like to receive regular updates, follow @Ed4Democracy and sign up for the Educating for Democracy newsletter by clicking here. Also, let us know what you think and share your input on ways to make this Deep Dive better in the comments below.
Erica Hodgin is the Associate Director of the Civic Engagement Research Group (CERG) at UC Riverside, and Co-Principal Investigator with Joseph Kahne of Educating for Democracy in the Digital Age. Her current research focuses on the educational implications of youth civic and political engagement in the digital age. Erica received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Mills College. Before joining CERG, Erica taught English and Social Studies and served as an instructional coach at the middle school and high school level. She also coordinated educational programs in several non-profit organizations in California and Maharastra, India. Connect with Erica on Twitter: @EricaHodgin.
Joseph Kahne is the Dutton Presidential Professor of Educational Policy and Politics at the University of California, Riverside, and Chair of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP). A former high school social studies teacher, Joe is Co-Principal Investigator with Erica Hodgin of Educating for Democracy in the Digital Age. An advisor to several foundations and civic education organizations, his scholarship and school change efforts focus on the ways school practices and youth engagement with digital media influence the quality and equality of youth civic and political engagement. Joe is currently working on district-wide civic education efforts in Oakland, Los Angeles, Riverside, and Chicago. Explore Joe’s work at the Civic Engagement Research Group (CERG) and connect with him on Twitter: @jkahne.