Foreword by: Meira Levinson
Publication Date: October 16, 2015
As former elementary school teachers, the authors focus on what is possible in schools rather than a romantic vision of what schools could be. Based on a 5-year study of an elementary school, this book shows how civic engagement can be purposive and critical—a way to encourage young people to examine their environment, to notice and question injustices, and to take action to make a difference in their communities and school. Focusing on the intersection of student voice and critical inquiry, the book describes how to embed civic engagement into curriculum, school decisionmaking processes, and whole-school activities. Chapters provide an overview of what research has demonstrated about civic engagement at the classroom, school, and community levels, including detailed descriptions of activities and lessons for practice. Classroom teachers, school principals, community members, and teacher educators can use this resource to foster a deeper, richer understanding of what is entailed in civic life.
Dana Mitra is associate professor of education in the department of education policy studies at The Pennsylvania State University. Stephanie C. Serriere is associate professor of social studies education at Indiana University–Purdue University Columbus (IUPUC).
"Offers a suggestive range of evidence that high-quality civic engagement initiatives can enhance students’ academic, social, and emotional engagement. . . . It reveals the nitty-gritty of how experienced teachers can enable children who are immersed in meaningful civic work also to engage more deeply with mathematical problem-solving, peer collaboration, literacy and social studies learning, and development of empathy and mutual trust."
—From the Foreword by Meira Levinson, professor of education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
"Mitra and Serriere show us not only that elementary-aged children are capable of civic engagement, but how such engagement can be nurtured in the classroom. Children can be active civic participants; this book demonstrates both the power of this idea and how we might accomplish this essential task."
—Beth C. Rubin, Ph.D, professor of social studies education at Rutgers University, author of Making Citizens: Transforming Civic Learning for Diverse Social Studies Classrooms