January 2020 Newsletter

News from the Center for Civic Education

The Center Launches a New Series of Online Courses, Opportunities Available for High-Need High School Students and Their Teachers, Project Citizen Research Program Set to Reach Teachers and Students Nationwide, and More in This Month's Newsletter.


Strengthening Democracy Online Civics Courses Available Now

Strengthening Democracy Online Civics Courses Available Now

The Center for Civic Education's new series of free, self-paced online courses, Strengthening Democracy in America, is now available on the Center's learning platform, Learn.civiced.org. Strengthening Democracy in America is for anyone who wants to learn more about the American political system and how to exercise their rights and responsibilities within it. The courses feature interviews with noted scholars explaining critical issues of American representative democracy. Participants learn from Jack Barlow, Bill Galston, Congressman Lee Hamilton, and Norman Ornstein, with upcoming courses featuring Diana Owen, Paul Light, Regina Lawrence, Stephen Farnsworth, and George Shambaugh.

Learn more.


Apply by April 1 for the 2020 Congressional and Presidential Academies

Apply by April 1 for the 2020 Congressional and Presidential Academies!

High-need high school students and their teachers are invited to apply for the 2020 Congressional and Presidential Academies! The academies will take place at Goucher College, Baltimore, on July 11-25, 2020. Teachers and students will participate in interactive sessions with their peers and notable scholars, engage in in-depth study of the history and principles of the U.S. Constitution, and take field trips to historical sites in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., area.

Learn more and apply.

Project Citizen Research Program to Reach Teachers and Students Nationwide

Project Citizen Research Program to Reach Teachers and Students Nationwide

The Project Citizen Research Program will see 100 teachers from throughout the country receive professional development this summer and during the 2020-21 academic school year. Teachers will learn about public policy in order to help their students complete a Project Citizen action civics project during the academic year that will focus local public policy issues. Three mentors in each of five national regions will train the teachers and help them throughout the year. Dr. Diana Owen and her team of researchers at Georgetown University's Civic Education Research Lab will evaluate the efficacy of Project Citizen for improving outcomes in middle and high school-level civics. The Project Citizen Research Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Learn more.

Quick Quiz! What did the Proclamation of 1763 do?

A. Banned settlement in certain western lands
B. Increased colonial taxes
C. Encouraged colonists to move west
D. Gave the colonies more independence

Read on to learn the answer!


Mark Molli and Kathryn Hartzell Attend ED Games Expo

Mark Molli and Kathryn Hartzell Attend ED Games Expo

Mark Molli, Associate Director of the Center and Kathryn Hartzell, Research Associate for the Civic Education Research Lab (CERL) at Georgetown University, on the terrace of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. They were attending the ED Games Expo, a showcase and celebration of innovative learning games and technologies in education and special education developed through programs at the U.S. Department of Education and across the government.


Courtney Wertz Receives Oregon Civic Educator of the Year Award

Courtney Wertz Receives Oregon Civic Educator of the Year Award

Congratulations to Courtney Wertz, the Classroom Law Project's 2019-20 Civic Educator of the Year. Wertz teaches middle and high school English and social sciences at Oregon's Paisley High School and is a We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, Project Citizen, and James Madison Legacy Project teacher. "Every Classroom Law Project experience has been very positive for my students,"said Wertz. "They love seeing the justice system up close on the Courthouse Experience tours, and the class I took to Salem to present their Project Citizen portfolio at the capitol building talked about the experience until they graduated." Classroom Law Project is the We the People and Project Citizen state coordinating organization for Oregon.

Learn more.

Attend the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute

Opportunity for We the People Students! Attend the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute

Attention We the People teachers! Encourage your students to apply to attend the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute, held June 27-July 25 on the campus of Purdue University. All 16- to 18-year-old U.S. citizens may apply. Applications due by March 14.

Learn more.

Know Any Great Civics Teachers?

Know Any Great Civics Teachers?

The American Lawyer's Alliance is seeking applicants for its 2020 ALA Law-Related Education Teacher of the Year Awards. Each of the three winners will be presented with a certificate and a $3,000 award at the ALA annual meeting. An additional $500 for hotel and travel expenses will be given to each recipient who attends the awards luncheon. Applications may be submitted by the applicant, school administrators, other teachers, students, lawyers, judges, professional members of the community, or any other interested parties. Apply by March 15.

Learn more.

Quiz Answer!

A. Banned settlement in certain western lands (see episode 3861)

For more quizzes and learning opportunities, check out the 60-Second Civics podcast and daily civics quiz!

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