For the importance of knowledge as a precondition for
civic action, please see the NACE
A Teacher's Perspective on Closing the Civic Gap
Meira Levinson, a teacher and a scholar, documents evidence of a growing civic achievement gap between students of different races and socio-economic and immigration status in her new CIRCLE Working Paper (#51) The Civic Achievement Gap . She maintains that this gap will lead to serious political disadvantages for many young immigrants and students of color.
The Working Paper is drawn from a forthcoming book by the author. Using previous research and her own experience as a teacher in urban schools in Boston and Atlanta , Dr. Levinson shows that poor non-white students demonstrate lower levels of civic and political knowledge, skills, positive attitudes toward the state, and participation, than their wealthier and white counterparts.
Download her CIRCLE Working Paper from here:
Exploring the Link Between Math and Civic Engagement
New exploratory research by Roderick Watts and Omar Guessous of Georgia State University investigates the link between math and civic engagement. The research is based on an evaluation of the Young People's Project (YPP)—a national program that recruits, trains, and deploys high school and college Math Literacy Workers for mentoring middle and elementary school students. Learn more by downloading:
for Effective Civic Action
Written for educators and researchers alike, CIRCLE
Paper 06: The Role of Civic Skills in Fostering Civic
by Dr. Mary Kirlin takes a look at what we know and dont
about the skills that are crucial for active participation
in civic life.
The paper gives a comprehensive snapshot of the broad
research findings on civic skillsskills that enable
take effective civic action such as writing letters to
a member of
Congress or defending a position on a public issue. In
the paper includes a new typology of civic skills and
direction for future research.
On the NAEP Civics assessment conducted in 1998, 75%
of the nations students performed at basic or below-basic
- At the 4th grade level, 74% of students knew that
in the U.S. laws must be applied evenly but only 15%
were able to name two services that the government pays
for with taxes.
- At the 8th grade level, 81% of students were able
to identify Martin Luther King as someone who was concerned
about the injustice of segregation laws. Yet, only 6%
were able to describe two ways that countries benefit
from having a constitution.
- At the 12th grade level, 90% of students understood
that Social Security is an issue of primary concern
to the elderly, yet only 9% of the students could list
two ways that democratic society benefits from the active
participation of its citizens.