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.
Check out this new series of videos on Civic Discussion and Deliberation produced in Chicago Public Schools. Learn why and how schools and teachers should help students have civic and political discussion with people who have different opinions from their own. And watch two strategies you can use in the classroom from Structured Academic Controversy to the Co-Pilot Discussion Strategy. You can also learn more by reading this recent blog: Move Over Debate; It’s Time to Deliberate.
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. And the digital age has made the need for such education all the more urgent. New skills and dispositions are needed to help youth fully leverage new opportunities for effective participation while navigating new 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 throughout the district.
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.
INVESTIGATION & RESEARCH
How do I help students research issues that matter to them?
How do I further students’ civic knowledge and understanding?
How do I help students have productive discussions about current and controversial issues?
How can students voice their perspective on issues that matter to them?
What are effective ways to take action in the digital age?
How do I assess my students’ civic learning?
Learn how you can support young people to navigate civics and politics in the digital age and how you can prepare your students to become thoughtful and effective participants in our democracy.
Digital Civics Toolkit for Educators
The Digital Civics Toolkit is a collection of resources for educators to support youth in exploring a range of civic opportunities and dilemmas via 5 modules focused on: Exploring Community Issues, Investigation, Dialogue, Voice, and Action.
The PARTICIPATE module provides activities that invite youth to explore their face-to-face and online communities and to identify civic issues that are relevant to people in their local communities and in the wider world.
- Educating for Participatory Politics
- Core Practices of Educating for Participatory Politics
- KQED Teach’s Media Foundations free online course for educators
- 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
- Teaching Tolerance’s Digital & Civic Literacy Skills Framework & Resources
Meet the Civic Engagement Teacher Laureate
Heather Van Benthuysen — the latest Teacher Laureate at the Teaching Channel — will be sharing resources and tools as well as provocative reflection questions focused on how to build democratic classrooms and integrate civic engagement across grade levels and content areas. To learn more about Heather’s background, how she got started in civics, why she thinks integrating civic learning in the classroom is critical, and the resources she will be sharing on the Teaching Channel, read this introductory blog post and watch our recent conversation with her.
To learn more and find additional resources, check out our curated list of relevant, high-quality, civic learning materials from national civic education organizations. Click here to see a list of organizations.
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.