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Educating for Democratic Citizenship Community

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Educating for Democratic Citizenship Community

About this Community

There is a renewed sense of urgency around civic education in the U.S., given recent assaults on universal suffrage, on free media, on workers’ rights, on an independent judiciary, and most recently on the U.S. Capitol. There is also agreement that the goals of civic education should be to nurture citizens who are well-informed and productively engaged in their communities and with the broader society. As a result, there is an emerging consensus that our civic education system needs to be reimagined to better serve and empower young people, especially those experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage, prejudice, and systemic injustice.

In response to these challenges, the Shanker Institute in partnership with the American Federation of Teachers, Share My Lesson the and the AFT Innovation Fund has launched this Educating for Democratic Citizenship Project whereby a group of accomplished, experienced AFT educators have developed these Action Civics lessons and materials that we hope will improve teaching and learning of American History, Government, and Civics for teachers and students.  This Action Civics approach supports students’ learning about the political process as they identify, research, and take informed action on issues that are important to them. These meaningful learning experiences help young people gain knowledge, develop skills, and grow their motivation for lifelong civic participation. We intend to facilitate the integration of civic lessons across academic disciplines, ensuring that lessons are flexible and adaptable, so they will meet the needs of diverse teachers, not only those with ample time and supports to teach civics.

While these lessons represent the inaugural year of this program, we hope that these scalable Action Civics lessons can also help create a civic learning community to further develop, improve and share lesson plans, strategies, and professional development that build the civic education field for the benefit of students.


Albert Shanker Institute
SML Partner