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The middle school years are an especially crucial time to the development of civic roles and responsibilities. Civic education seeks to engage students in their communities by teaching them the skills necessary to participate effectively in civil society and bring about positive change within their communities. To promote responsible citizenship through civic education in schools, the Center for Civic Education (CCE) has collaborated with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) to implement We the People . . . Project Citizen, a national civic education program for middle school students. Since the program began in 1995-96, an estimated 460 teachers in 45 states have used or are using Project Citizen in over 1,000 classes with 28,000 students.
This report, commissioned by the CCE in 1997-98, is an assessment of We the People . . . Project Citizen. The first two chapters of the report provide the background for civic education and Project Citizen and set the national context. Chapters 3 through 9 examine in detail seven key areas of Project Citizen implementation--state administration, the recruitment of and outreach to teachers and school administrators, teacher training, teacher and class use, Project Citizen competitions, benefits to students, and financial and political support--and offer recommendations for maximizing implementation efforts in each of these areas. The final chapter provides some overarching and long-term recommendations for building a strong framework to solidify and expand the use of Project Citizen nationally.
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