Educating for Democracy in the Digital Age
Educators play a vital role in preparing youth to be thoughtful and active participants in our democracy. But it’s often hard to know where to start and how best to integrate civic learning. In this Deep Dive, developed in partnership with the Civic Engagement Research Group (CERG) at the University of CA, Riverside, we’ve curated a collection of videos, blogs, educational resources, and relevant research to support educators in and out of schools in preparing youth to participate fully and thoughtfully in civic and political life in the digital age.
What is Civic Learning?
Civic learning is a process through which young people develop the knowledge, skills, and commitments to interact effectively with others, improve their communities and the broader society, and participate in democracy. New skills and dispositions are needed in the digital age. Youth can access an array of information and an audience to make their voices heard. At the same time, there are many challenges related to “fake news,” harsh partisanship, and a system that often feels unresponsive. Civic learning can help youth fully leverage the opportunities for effective participation while navigating the challenges.
Watch this video to learn more about what civic engagement is and to find out how teachers in Oakland Unified School District are integrating civic learning through a district-wide initiative called Educating for Democracy in the Digital Age (EDDA).
Ready to learn more about how to educate for democracy? These essential questions touch on core civic practices. By exploring the questions and diving into the resources below, you will find ways to integrate civic learning across content areas and grade levels.
Learn how Youth Radio — a media production company in Oakland, CA — works with young people to get their voices out there by producing compelling pieces for radio, video, the web, blogs, podcasts, and other platforms. In this new video, students begin to write a commentary about an issue they care about which they will later publish via radio and/or social media.
Watch Chicago Public School Teacher Elizabeth Robbins share a model for upending civics education as we know it, and helping students research and take action around issues that affect them.
Preparing students to participate in their community and in democracy is a critical part of the educational mission of schools. Watch this video to see how Oakland Unified School District honors students that demonstrate community readiness (in addition to college and career readiness) in their senior projects. To find out more about community readiness and the annual event, you can also read this blog post.
- Educating for Participatory Politics
- Core Practices of Educating for Participatory Politics
- KQED Teach’s Media Foundations free online course for educators
- Six Proven Practices for well-rounded civic learning
- Civic Mission of Schools’ Civic Learning Online
- Center for Civic Education
- The Political Moment: Resources for Educators in the Trump Era
- 10 Questions for Change Makers
- By Any Media Necessary: Resource & Media Archive
- Social Justice Lesson Planning Resources
Blog Posts & Articles
About this Deep Dive
This Deep Dive was developed through a collaboration between the Teaching Channel and the Civic Engagement Research Group (CERG) at the University of California, Riverside. We will be updating this collection on an ongoing basis. To receive updates on new resources and information about civic learning, follow @Ed4Democracy on Twitter and sign up for the Educating for Democracy newsletter.
National Civic Education Organizations
To support our community, we have curated a list of relevant, high-quality civic learning materials from national civic education organizations. Click here to see a list of organizations.