Character Education Resource Center News You Can Use -- Civics Education, December 2018

Civics lessons: Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Neil Gorsuch on promoting education in citizenship

Since civics was dropped from school curricula, awareness of our constitutional government, and our participation in it, has declined markedly—read-listen-teach!

California Code: Character and Citizenship

California Education Code - Section 44790
---The legislature finds and declare that there is a compelling need to promote the development and implementation of effective educational programs in ethics and civic values in California schools.

California Education Code Section 233.5(a) lays the groundwork and calls upon educators to impress upon students the principles of character and citizenship.

Each teacher shall endeavor to impress upon the minds of the pupils the principles of morality, truth, justice, patriotism, and a true comprehension of the rights, duties, and dignity of American citizenship, and the meaning of equality and human dignity, including the promotion of harmonious relations, kindness toward domestic pets and the humane treatment of living creatures, to teach them to avoid idleness, profanity, and falsehood, and to instruct them in manners and morals and the principles of a free government. Each teacher is also encouraged to create and foster an environment that encourages pupils to realize their full potential and that is free from discriminatory attitudes, practices, events, or activities, in order to prevent acts of hate violence.

In my pdf file, I have a copy of “Revitalizing K-12 Civic Learning in California: A Blueprint for Action.” (If you want a copy I will send it to you ( This report by the California Task Force On Civic Learning (2014) notes in its “Letter From the Co-Chairs” that California’s The Power of Democracy Steering Committee (website at will assist help spread the recommendations in schools, in communities, and to parents.

Something to Teach

The Students of History Civics Curriculum: This curriculum provides detailed lesson plans and resources for teaching each of the following ten units:

  • (1)  Introduction to government,
  • (2)  Foundations of American 
  • (3)  The Constitution & Federalism,
  • (4)  Parties & Ideology,
  • (5)  Campaigns & Elections,
  • (6)  The Legislative Branch,
  • (7)  The Executive branch,
  • (8)  The Judicial branch,
  • (9)  Civil Liberties,
  • (10)Foreign Policy & Comparative Government,
(11)Understanding Local Government, and
(12) Review and Final Assessment. m/

Something to Think About Civility

It is about politely disagreeing without disrespect, seeking common ground as a starting point for dialogue about differences, listening past one’s preconceptions, and teaching others to do the same. Civility is the hard work of staying present even with those with whom we have deep-rooted and fierce disagreement.

Five Key Questions:

  1. Who created this message? 2. What creative techniques are used to attract my attention? 3. How might different people understand this message differently than me? 4. What values, lifestyles and points of view are represented in, or omitted from, this message? 5. Why is this message being sent?

Five Core Concepts:

  1. All media messages are ‘constructed.’ 2. Media messages are constructed using a creative language with its own rules. 3. Different people experience the same media message differently. 4. Media have embedded values and points of view. 5. Most media messages are organized to gain profit and/or power.

Something to Ask About

This guide is a three-part toolkit for parents, teachers, and students.
Teaching Current Events in the Age of Social Media 4 tips for including the news in your curriculum: 1) utilize resources; 2) archive positive stories; 3) help students read critically; 4) unplugging.

What does civics education look like in America? How well are school preparing students to be effective citizens, voters, and members of their community?

SEE = in-depth analysis of civics education, and what the education community can do to ensure that today’s students are prepared to be tomorrow’s citizens, the 2018 Brown Center Report on American Education.

Is literature the answer to tackling poor civics curriculum?

Something Middle and High School Students Should Do

Now in its 20th year, Chapman University’s Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education is offering middle and high school students an opportunity to participate in its Holocaust Art and Writing contest.

For more information see:




For Essay Contest, Conference, Certificate, and News You Can Use Information visit our website:


Edward DeRoche


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