Civics classes are not the solution to the civics crisis

Ethan Zuckerman says:

If we conclude that civics is in crisis, there’s a hard question to answer: what would we do to help students prepare to become more effective citizens? William Galston reviewed much of the literature on the effectiveness of civic education a decade ago and suggests that more civic education is probably not the answer: “For three decades, the scholarly consensus has been that formal, classroom-based civic education has no significant effect on civic knowledge.” In fact, we’re so bad at teaching civics in the classroom that, “remarkably, the informal civic education that occurs in such non-civics courses as English literature may be more effective than civic education as currently taught.”

via http://dmlcentral.net/blog/ethan-zuckerman/civics-crisis-or-just-changing-its-shape

2 Responses to “Civics classes are not the solution to the civics crisis”

  1. “In fact, we’re so bad at teaching civics in the classroom that, remarkably, the informal civic education that occurs in such non-civics courses as English literature may be more effective than civic education as currently taught.”

    Probably because the teachers weren’t teaching well. Since the women’s movement allowed the best and brightest women to get jobs in something other than education, the quality of the elementary and middle school teaching corps has declined a lot. Simultaneously, there was a big push to be diverse and politically correct and inclusive; when you couple that with low quality teachers, it’s not hard to figure why quality civics education started to disappear.

  2. Civic Activism classes, that would be awesome!

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