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21 st Century Civic Literacy Rebecca Tinder Bowles Rice McDavid Graff & Love LLP.

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Presentation on theme: "21 st Century Civic Literacy Rebecca Tinder Bowles Rice McDavid Graff & Love LLP."— Presentation transcript:

1 21 st Century Civic Literacy Rebecca Tinder Bowles Rice McDavid Graff & Love LLP

2 The Education Practice Group at Bowles Rice McDavid Graff & Love Primary Attorneys Greg Bailey - Morgantown Rick Boothby - Parkersburg Howard Seufer - Charleston Rebecca Tinder - Charleston Kim Croyle - Morgantown Ashley Hardesty -Morgantown Legal Assistants Melissa Downing - Morgantown Sarah Plantz - Charleston Dianne Wolfe - Parkersburg Adjunct Attorneys Rick Brown - Employee Disability Mark D’Antoni - Real Estate Mark Dellinger - Human Rights Kit Francis - Creditors Rights Tom Heywood - Government Relations Bob Kent - Personal Injury Defense Jeff Matherly - Health Information Ellen Maxwell-Hoffman - Ethics Edd McDevitt – Bonds & Levies Marion Ray - Workers Compensation Lesley Russo – Employee Benefits Cam Siegrist - Finance Beth Walker - Wage & Hour Ken Webb - Construction Litigation

3 According to wikipedia … Civics is the study of citizenship and government with particular attention given to the role of citizens― as opposed to external factors― in the operation and oversight of government. 21st Century Civic Literacy

4 Within a given political or ethical tradition, civics refers to educating the citizens about their obligations and rights within that tradition … In the United States, this is the explicit rationale for public education—to ensure the United States Constitution is upheld by citizens who must, at least, know what it is.

5 What is the state of our Civic Health?

6 Presidential Turnout

7 Civic Health Index/Adults 18-25

8 Volunteering at 12 th Grade

9 Youth Volunteering: Ages 16-24

10 Civic Health by Educational Background

11 Voting by Educational Background

12 Volunteering by Educational Background

13 Although the statistics appear bleak, there are some shining stars upon which to focus

14 15% of Americans, roughly 36 million people, participate and stand out as civic leaders –Well informed –Attend public meetings –Work together on community problems –Leaders in clubs and associations –Attend religious services –Vote –Volunteer Shining Stars

15 An overlapping group of about 24% uses online technology quite heavily for civic purposes Shining Stars

16 More Americans Want More Opportunities to Serve –43% say they would be more involved in their communities if there were more opportunities –80% say it is important for government to give citizens voice –53% choose collaboration among citizens, non-profits and government as the best way to solve problems

17 Shining Stars Millennials emerge as a civic force –Most positive feelings toward the government –Heavily engaged in some aspects of civic life, such as volunteering –Express the most demand for opportunities for civic engagement

18 “Most people born in the same generation have very similar attitudes and value systems that they acquire while they are young and remain with them throughout their lives” - Cam Marston from “Motivating the ‘What’s In It For Me?’ Workforce”

19 Where do we find our students? [What is the baseline?]

20 For Those Born in 1989 or Later What Berlin wall? They have grown up with bottled water Nelson Mandela has always been free and a force in South Africa Pete Rose never played baseball Rap music has always been mainstream Russia has always had a multi-party political system Woman have always been police chiefs in major cities

21 1989 or Later cont’d Wal-Mart has always been a larger retailer than Sears and has always employed more workers than GM Thanks to MySpace and Facebook, autobiography can happen in real time They learned about JFK from Oliver Stone and Malcolm X from Spike Lee Most phone calls have never been private

22 1989 or Later cont’d Virtual reality has always been available when the real thing failed Tiananmen Square is a 2008 Olympics venue, not the scene of a massacre They get much more information from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert than from the newspaper The World Wide Web has been an online tool since they were born

23 Defining life events include… Columbine High School 9-11 Enron, WorldCom, etc. War in Iraq Nuclear threat from North Korea Emerging nations—China, India

24 “Although they are better educated, more techno-savvy, and quicker to adapt than those who have come before them, they refuse to blindly conform to traditional standards and time-honored institutions. Instead, they boldly ask, ‘Why?’” — Eric Chester from “Employing Generation Why?”

25 21st Century Civic Literacy Let’s tell them why…

26 Why Civic Literacy Needed to aid in understanding the local and global implications of civic decisions Applying 21st century skills will aid in making intelligent choices as a citizen Informed, responsible citizens are needed to participate in the political process

27 Why Civic Literacy cont’d Only 33.4% of the voting-eligible population in WV voted in the 2008 democratic presidential primary (republicans caucused) It allows individuals to express their interests/demands on government/ elected officials. It creates a platform where voices can multiply/amplify.

28 Why Civic Literacy cont’d It instills habits of cooperation and public spiritedness. It provides an opportunity to learn the social and civic skills necessary for active participation. It creates forums of thoughtful deliberation over vital public issues. It allows Americans to take responsibility for building our communities. It provides an avenue to contribute diverse talents and energies to solve local, national, and global problems

29 21st Century Civic Literacy How this will work…

30 Three parts to civic literacy - Civic-related knowledge --historical and contemporary Cognitive and participatory skills --and associated behaviors Dispositions --motivations for behavior and values/attitudes 21st Century Civic Literacy

31 Content (Knowledge) Skills (Behavior) Disposition (Motivations)

32 21st Century Civic Literacy What do our students need to know, do and understand to be responsible, civically literate 21 st Century citizens?

33 21st Century Civic Literacy Content What charters define our freedoms? Declaration of Independence Constitution Bill of Rights

34 understand, analyze and participate in government understand and develop a commitment to the principles and values found in our core documents participate effectively in the local, state, national and global community An effective program should empower students to

35 An effective program should empower students to apply 21st century skills to make intelligent decisions that reflect understandings of historic implications understand the role and influence of leaders develop a broader sense of political awareness

36 21st Century Civic Literacy Learning Skills Information and Communication Thinking and Problem-Solving Interpersonal and Self-Directional

37 21st Century Civic Literacy Information Communication Technology Skills *Computers*Word Processing * *WebEx *Decision Support*Web Development *Presentation Tools*Search Tools *E-learning*Collaboration Tools

38 21st Century Civic Literacy Dispositions Civic Virtues: Active Participation Trustworthiness Reciprocity

39 21 st Century Civic Literacy Dispositions Take an interest in the actions of public officials -- be informed --attend school board/city council meetings --voice your opinions Provide for the common good --Participate in community activities --Volunteer/ Give to charities Participate in the political process --Vote/ Serve on juries --Obey laws

40 21st Century Civic Literacy How do we reach students in today’s classrooms to become informed citizens prepared to participate in our political process?

41 We as Americans know that it is a rare and precious gift to live in a society that permits and values citizen participation. We must deliberately teach it. --It does not come naturally 21st Century Civic Literacy

42 We must deliberately teach it. Work with your local communities Support the efforts of your staffs to learn and to incorporate these concepts We must provide real-world experiences that empower students and give them opportunities to participate in citizenship activities 21st Century Civic Literacy

43 Desirable Outcomes Students should posses a reasoned commitment to those fundamental values and principles of our political heritage that are contained in such documents as the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights, and others. This commitment to these values and principles should serve as a moral compass guiding their participation in both their private and public relationships.

44 21st Century Civic Literacy Desirable Outcomes Students should have acquired the knowledge of politics and government and the intellectual and participatory skills that are required for informed and competent participation. Finally, they should have developed the public and private dispositions of character such as civility, tolerance, and compassion that enhance their inclination and capacity to participate fully in our democratic process.

45 21st Century Civic Literacy How does this tie in with your roles at your schools?

46 Content Standards & Objectives (Social Studies) The word “citizen” appears for kindergarten, and second through twelfth grades The word “independence” appears for fourth, and tenth through twelfth grades The word “constitution” appears for fifth, and eighth through twelfth grades The phrase “bill of rights” appears for fifth, tenth and twelfth grades

47 State Board Goals Include All students shall –master or exceed grade level educational standards that reflect 21st century skills and learning. –receive a seamless pre-kindergarten through twenty curriculum designed and delivered with broad stakeholder involvement to promote lifelong learning in a global society. –develop and promote responsibility, citizenship, strong character and healthful living.

48 The goal of promoting Citizenship and Character must be inculcated into –all content areas –all grade levels

49 Resources & Activities WVDE collaboration with WV Treasurer’s Office on financial literacy initiatives concerning personal finance WVDE collaboration with WV Auditor’s Office on investment and financial literacy initiatives Supreme Court West Virginia Law Adventure Program for middle school

50 Other Resources & Activities Court case Comic Books (Graphic Novels) for high school seniors Robes to Schools for elementary students SS Summer Institute mock trial presentation WV Cultural Center – History and Archives Golden Horseshoe test consultation and online resources for students

51 Other Resources & Activities Over 400 attorneys volunteer throughout the State Character Counts We the People Constitution Day: September 17- amendment by Senator Byrd to the 2004 Omnibus Spending Bill –Mandates that all publicly funded education institutions provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on that day –USDE applied to any school receiving federal funds of any kind

52 Other Resources & Activities Youth in Government Youth and Government Online lessons and professional development Network with peers

53 Consider this… The United States requires those wishing to be citizens by Naturalization to pass a test designed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (there is no test for those born in the U.S. or to U.S. citizen parents) Daily, in schools, the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag is recited (but do all those reciting it, understand it?)

54 What if we taught and practiced the Citizens Oath? - Developed by the National Conference on Citizenship – a non-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress

55 The Citizens Oath As an American I embrace the responsibilities of self-government. I pledge to learn and live the principles set forth in the charters that define our freedoms: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

56 The Citizens Oath I pledge to keep myself informed about the challenges that face our country and the world, and to work with others to meet those challenges. I pledge to assist people in need, and thereby strengthen the bonds among us.

57 The Citizens Oath cont’d I pledge to register to vote and vote when I am of age, in every election in which I am eligible. I pledge to conduct myself according to the highest standards of civic decency, to foster those standards throughout my community and to expect them from all public officials.

58 The Citizens Oath cont’d Through these acts I commit myself to build a more just, humane and ethical nation, for my own and all future generations. - National Conference on Citizenship – a non-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress

59 What’s your pledge?

60 Thank you for sharing your valuable time with me. Questions or Comments?

61 Sources Robert D. Putnam, Bowling Alone (New York: Simon & Shuster, 2000) Margaret Branson, “The Importance of Promoting Civic Education”, an address to the 2 nd Annual Scholars Conference, Pasadena California, January 31, West Virginia Framework for High Achieving Classrooms Center for Civic Education Civitas: A Framework for Civic Education National Council of the Social Studies 21 st Century Partnership The National Conference on Citizenship National Constitution Center Beloit College Wikipedia


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