Content Authored by Kathy Pahel
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Today, the United States falls short of its goal to create generation after generation of educated citizens to ensure the continuation of our democracy. Once the founding motivation for the creation of public schools, civics education has fallen into the shadows of math and science. It is taught in a passive learning environment, and lacks any development of critical thinking essential to the democratic process. Without a thorough revamping of our education system, civics education will continue to be sidelined and our democracy will suffer.
Through at least 40 years of polling, the American public has claimed that the number-one purpose of the nation’s schools is “preparing people to become responsible citizens.” Civic education is a key factor in personal and social development, as well as essential to the democratic process, and the only institution that can provide opportunities to cultivate democratic experience-not for elite groups, but for all children and youth- is the school.