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 Selected Research & Readings

Network News, Cultivating Strong Service-Learning Partnerships PDF - We know that vibrant, thriving communities are those committed to the growth and well-being of all their members. Service-learning has become a valuable way for schools and community organizations to cultivate strong, sustainable relationships to meet community needs in collaborative settings. Looking for ways to connect students with community partners in service-learning? This issue focuses on what it takes to build strong community partnerships and the inherent benefits for all involved. (Lisa Guilfoile, ECS, May 2012)...

New and Alternative Assessments, Digital Badges, and Civics: An Overview of Emerging Themes and Promising Directions - The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) recently released a working paper entitled “New and Alternative Assessments, Digital Badges, and Civics: An Overview of Emerging Themes and Promising Directions,” that explores digital badges and alternative assessments for civic skills, knowledge, and dispositions. The paper considers digital badges as well as ePortfolios, rubrics, games, simulations, and other assessment and learning tools that might expand options for those committed to improving civic education. ...

Civic Education and Charter Schools: Current Knowledge and Future Research Issues - This report examines the status of civic education in both traditional public schools and public charter schools. The report, produced by the Center on Education Policy (CEP) at The George Washington University, uses data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress and other research to learn how the performance of charter school students compares to traditional public school students....

“That’s Not Democracy.” How Out-of-School Youth Engage in Civic Life and What Stands in Their Way - This report uses survey data to show that civic engagement is highly unequal among young Americans and such gaps may sustain over time. The primary divisions are between young people who have attended college and “non-college youth” -- those who dropped out of high school or did not continue their educations beyond high school (about 42% of the resident youth population in 2012). For instance, young adults with college experience are about twice as likely to vote and to volunteer. Overall, the study finds that non-college young people lack organized and institutional opportunities to address large-scale social issues. (CIRCLE)...

A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy’s Future - This report calls on educators and public leaders to advance a 21st century vision of college learning for all students—a vision with civic learning and democratic engagement as an expected part of every student’s college education. The report documents the nation’s weak civic health and includes recommendations for action that address campus culture, general education, and civic inquiry. (Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2012)...

Advancing Civic Learning and Engagement in Democracy: A Road Map and Call to Action - This U.S. Department of Education report highlights nine steps the Department will take to advance civic learning and democratic engagement, including adding civic indicators to national student surveys, promoting public service internships and careers, and leveraging federal programs and public-private partnerships. In addition, the report discusses service-learning as an effective practice in promoting civic learning. (U.S. Department of Education, January 2012)...

Guardian of Democracy: The Civic Mission of Schools - This report builds and expands on the findings from a 2003 Civic Mission of Schools report. The authors assert that civic education not only increases citizen knowledge and engagement, but also expands civic equality, improves twenty-first century skills, and may reduce the dropout rate and improve the school climate. To improve civic literacy, skills and engagement, the authors recommend that schools adopt six proven practices in civic learning, ranging from high-quality classroom instruction to several innovative pedagogies and activities outside of formal classes. (Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, September 2011)...

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