Civic engagement is foundational for a thriving democracy. Young people need to be motivated and equipped to participate as active members of their communities. High-quality civics education empowers youth to take action on issues they care about. Yet civics education is chronically underfunded, and the spread of misinformation in the media can discourage youth from active citizenship. In the meantime, there is enormous need to build the public service workforce.
To address these challenges, and with funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, EDC has crafted the Supporting Readiness through Vital Civic Empowerment (SRVCE) initiative. SRVCE blends inquiry-based civic learning, media literacy education, and exploration of careers in public service to prepare students to be active citizens and thrive in the workforce.
With key partners and collaborators, EDC is carrying out the following activities:
- Develop five integrated curriculum modules on a range of civic issues designed to facilitate inquiry that is rooted in students’ local communities
- Integrate media literacy resources and tools that equip students to research topics of interest, analyze information, and share their ideas to make a difference
- Design and deliver professional learning to support teachers in implementing the curriculum through a blended and contextual learning approach
- Create profiles of veterans and professionals in public service, reflecting multiple perspectives and illuminating stories of service
- Incorporate career exploration, workforce experiences, and industry mentors to bridge the gap between the classroom and the real world
- The pilot program will engage up to 1,000 high school students and build their civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions.
- 40–60 teachers will participate in the pilot, enhancing their civic knowledge, skills, and inquiry-based practice.
- The pilot will be implemented in 10–15 military-connected schools, which may include DoDEA (Department of Defense Education Activity), JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps), Purple Star Schools, and public service and public safety career pathways.
- SRVCE will culminate in a replicable and scalable model for robust civic inquiry.
Generation Citizen, Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM, National Association for Media Literacy Education