Program inspires students’ civic engagement

By Elizabeth Foster
February 2021
It is a longstanding goal of schools to educate individuals to participate in a democratic society. But recent events, including the storming of the U.S. Capitol and disinformation campaigns around the U.S. presidential election, have made it clear that we need to improve the way students understand history, government, and their roles in them. Civics education is more critical than ever. A recent mixed-methods study offers information about how the features of a high school action civics curriculum and implementation support for educators helped students develop the knowledge and skills needed to participate in a democratic society. The researchers found that the curriculum structure combined with teachers’ instructional decisions influenced student outcomes. Methodology The researchers examined the impacts of an action civics curriculum called Project

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The study

Andolina, M.W. & Conklin, H.G. (2020, June). Fostering democratic and social-emotional learning in action civics programming: Factors that shape students’ learning from Project Soapbox. American Educational Research Journal, 57(3), 1203-1240.

Vice President, Standards & Research | + posts

Elizabeth Foster ( is vice president, research & standards at Learning Forward. In each issue of The Learning Professional, Foster explores recent research to help practitioners understand the impact of particular professional learning practices on student outcomes.

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