A few centuries ago, when widespread free public education came to America, one of its goals was to teach an appreciation for civic rights and responsibilities. This required rote memorization of information and a certain level of conformity to national values and principles.
It is fun
One of the goals of civic education is to teach students that they have freedoms and responsibilities. Educators also want to teach children to respect other people’s rights and property, honor their country, and obey the law. Using a narrative approach, a civic education book explores the complex relationship between young children’s developing civic mindsets and their lives and learning contexts. It provides a grounded understanding of how even the youngest students can be civic-minded and politically engaged.
It is educational
Civic education focuses on preparing citizens to understand and participate in their communities. Nevertheless, it is also about teaching children how to create and preserve those communities. One way to accomplish this is by leveraging social networks and the concept of collective efficacy.
This book provides an educational and fun way to teach students about the electoral process. It uses laugh-out-loud cartoony illustrations and includes facts about American history that make it fun for all ages. While early childhood and social studies education literature often positions young children as future or emergent citizens, this research shows that children are active civic actors who can and do engage in community practices.
Civic participation can help them develop a sense of shared responsibilities and the habits of public character that sustain our constitutional democracy.
It is inspirational
In this book, the authors challenge the current assumptions of civic education and propose a new framework for students and teachers. They argue that civic education should not simply encourage allegiance to national, partisan, and civic entities that are themselves black boxes. Instead, the goal of civic education should be to promote competence in explaining how a political or legal system works.
If citizens understand how a system should work, they will be better equipped to detect problems and help correct them. This fun, interactive book introduces kids to the Constitution with laugh-out-loud cartoon images and straightforward explanations of each amendment. The best part is that it will encourage them to be involved in our democracy! This is a must-have for any classroom!
It is motivational
Imagine a United States where politicians, government institutions, schools, new technologies, and civic education all work together to promote informed and engaged citizens. The authors of this book use a combination of theoretical development, methodological reflection, and case study to explore this vision of learning and democracy. This book looks at how we teach civics in our classrooms and suggests changes to help students become more active citizens. It is a great book to have in your social studies library!
It is empowering
Civic education often takes place in middle and high school, addressing issues of concern to students. However, elementary teachers can incorporate civic action into their classrooms, too. Consider teaching students about exemplary citizens—both past and present—in history narratives, biographies, autobiographies, and news media stories.
Young children must know they are part of a community and have rights and responsibilities. However, too often, civics education positions them as future or emergent citizens and focuses on apprenticeship models that see them as needing adult guidance to become capable and informed citizens.
A great way to build students’ capacities for civic engagement is through books that focus on their communities and show them that they can make a difference. These are the kinds of books that help to build a democracy that works for everyone.