What is Action Civics?

Funded by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, this initiative is designed to increase civic awareness and engagement in 14 middle and high schools in the Sacramento region. Working through teams of teachers across the curriculum, Action Civics classrooms will seamlessly combine civics content, CCSS literacy standards, and 21st Century skills by engaging students in an investigative process around a problem, issue, or challenge identified by students. Teachers will lead students through the investigative process and will provide resources, tools, and strategies for students to conduct their own research, gather and weigh differing perspectives, and develop and present their own ideas.

The Action Civics Initiative includes three main components designed to support participating schools in engaging students in civics content and action civics projects: (1) Development of an Action Civics Learning Framework; (2) Provision of high-quality, sustained professional development opportunities; and (3) Development of regional and community partnerships.

These three components, coordinated by a full time Action Civics Coordinator, will provide the necessary support to participating teachers to implement the Initiative’s vision and theory of action, and, over time, will be offered to teachers outside the original set of 14 schools to enhance expansion and sustainability of the Action Civics Initiative.

Research shows that young adults today are less likely than their counterparts in the 1970’s to exhibit important characteristics of citizenship, including belonging to at least one group, attending religious services at least monthly, belonging to a union, reading newspapers at least once a week, voting, being connected to a political party, working on a community project, attending club meetings, or believing that people are trustworthy.
-Flanagan, C. and Levine, P.
 Civic Engagement and the Transition to Adulthood
 Transition to Adulthood Journal, Vol. 20, No. 1, Spring 2010
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