At our annual meeting on May 17, 2006, the members of LWVBAE adopted the following policy position on Civics Education. It was the outcome of our two year study into how Civics is taught in Berkeley, Albany and Emeryville. The full report is available here: Civics Report.
Position on Civics Education
LWVBAE supports civics instruction as a priority in the K-12 public schools and school efforts to prepare all students to be informed, active citizens. Basic civic knowledge and skills should be taught at least by the end of the 8th grade.
LWVBAE supports civics instruction with components that:
- motivate students to participate in civic life as informed, active citizens;
- accompany academic learning with practical experience;
- train students to use critical thinking skills to identify and evaluate propaganda (written, spoken, visual); distinguish fact from opinion and belief; and verify assertion;
- teach students how to follow issues and legislation, and how to monitor elected officials;
- present all sides of an issue fairly and impartially in the classroom;
- support a higher priority for the assessment of civics instruction.
To accomplish the above, LWVBAE supports:
- using a variety of curricula and resources to make active citizenship teachable to students, whatever their background or literacy level;
- providing in-service training in effective techniques for imparting civics knowledge and skills at both elementary and secondary levels.