Restoring the Balance Between Academics and Civic Engagement in Public School
May 18, 2005
Bruce O. Boston, America Youth Policy Forum and Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
This semi-sensible manifesto calls for a focus on civic engagement in our schools. It argues that training students to be engaged citizens should be given the same importance as "core subjects" such as reading and math. Importantly, it distinguishes civic education from civic engagement and focuses on the latter. Thus it lauds service learning, providing evidence of its academic benefits and highlighting some programs worth emulating. To us, the key is to not let such "applied" civic learning supplant the important work of teaching content, and in this the report strikes a decent balance, paying reasonable attention to knowledge and content. And though they want to teach "the whole child," they are not so foolish as to believe that this is solely the job of schools. You can find it online here.