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MCCC Civics Initiative

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 Civics Education

(Civics at Community Colleges, Civics Education Research, Nearby Academic Civics Centers)


Goals of Civics Education

Civics education has three broad goals:
  • To strengthen students’ grasp of essential civic knowledge. Civics education seeks to ensure that all students acquire a level of understanding… of the major themes of U.S. history from the nation’s founding onward, the nature of the American systems of government at the federal, state and local levels, and how they have changed over time and the controversies and crises that the country has encountered and how these predicaments and watersheds were resolved, overcome or persist.
  • To cultivate the civic skills that are essential to engaged and responsible citizenship. These include the ability to weigh evidence, read closely, explicate and analyze primary sources, understand conflicting perspectives, make evidence-based arguments in applied real world practice.
  • To help students develop the civic dispositions that are essential for the successful functioning of a diverse, democratic society. These include the commitment to democratic processes, individual rights and the common good, as well as values of tolerance, empathy and open-mindedness; respect for complexity, nuance and differing perspectives; and a willingness to engage in respectful dialogue.
adapted from “Can Civics Education in Colleges Strengthen Democracy?” in InsideHigherEd.com 10/6/21 by Steven Mintz, professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin