By: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
Democracy thrives when there is a well-educated and informed citizenry. Raising the Bar in education means that every student is provided with a well-rounded education, and that includes creating opportunities to learn deeply about American history, understand the U.S. Constitution and how our system of government works, and build the skills required to engage in the democratic process. From a student perspective, understanding civics education can create agency in being able to shape the world around us and build a better society. Educators play an important role in creating environments to engage in robust discussions and innovate in activities to learn about civics. The U.S. Department of Education recently announced awards for two grants that will strengthen American History and Civics:
American History and Civics- National Activities
The purpose of this program is to promote new and existing evidence-based strategies to encourage innovative teaching of American history, civics and government, and geography instruction, learning strategies, and professional development activities and programs for teachers, principals, or other school leaders. This is particularly salient for instruction, strategies, activities, and programs that benefit students from low-income backgrounds and other underserved populations.
The 2023 Grantees include:
AZ Board of Regents on behalf of Arizona State University
Equal Opportunity Schools
Illinois Institute of Technology
Literacy Design Collaborative
National Constitution Center
National Council for History Education, Inc.
Region One Education Service Center
University of Maryland College Park
University of South Florida
Wilderness Education Project
Young Audiences of Louisiana, Inc
American History and Civics- Academies
Applicants for this program support projects to raise student achievement in American history and civics by improving teachers’ and students’ knowledge, understanding, and engagement. The Academies Program supports the establishment of (1) Presidential Academies for the Teaching of American History and Civics that offer workshops for both veteran and new teachers to strengthen their knowledge of American history, civics, and government education, and (2) Congressional Academies for Students of American History and Civics that provide high school students opportunities to enrich their understanding of these subjects. This is particularly salient for Academies that benefit students from low-income backgrounds and other underserved populations.
Examples of these projects include:
- Eight non-profits, three universities, and a state educational agency partnered to create American History workshops for teachers and opportunities for high school students to learn more around the U.S. Constitution.
- A non-profit educational center partnered with the National Park Service to create a two-week history and civic experience for both teachers and students.
The 2023 Grantees include:
Alaska Council of School Administrators
Georgia Center for Civic Engagement
Kentucky Educational Development Corporation
University of Wisconsin – Parkside
The students in our classrooms today will be future leaders in our schools, communities, private industry, and government— a government for the people, by the people. These grants will create opportunities to further enrich discussion on democracy and enhance civics education to build a better tomorrow.