The civic mission of schools is not a new concept. Our nation’s public schools were founded to develop citizens with knowledge of our system of governance, and the rights and responsibilities of self-government. Yet formal civic education has almost vanished from the curriculum in most schools.
We must provide our youngest generation with the understanding of our constitutional system, and an appreciation for the achievements of, and opportunities provided by self-government. Failure to do so will imperil the future of our democracy.
Safe & Reflective Classrooms
Students must feel safe and secure in the learning environment. Student voices should be included in establishing and maintaining expectations.
Informed action through service learning allows students to apply academic learning to real-world problems that are important to them. Service learning differs from community service or volunteerism in that the action is informed by the curriculum.
Current & Societal Issue Discussions
Facilitating student to student discussion provides students an opportunity to deliberate essential questions facing their community.
Simulations of Democratic Processes
Simulations of democratic processes allow students to "do civics" in a safe environment to learn and practice knowledge, skills, and dispositions.
IL House Bill 234 amended the school code by adding a provision that, beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, every public high school is required to include in its curriculum a unit of instruction on media literacy. “Media literacy” means the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create, and communicate using a variety of forms, including, but not limited to: print, visual, audio, interactive, and digital texts.
Direct Instruction on Democratic Institutions
Formal instruction in civics and government, history, economics, geography, and law increases young people’s tendency to engage in civic and political activities over the long term.
Benefits of Civic Education
A large body of research demonstrates the tangible benefits of civic learning.
The Leading Source for Civic Education
Your leading resource for information on the required implementation of civics classes in Illinois.