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The new Civics law in Illinois requires not only teaching about the institutions of government, but also the integration of simulations of democratic processes, active student participation in service learning, and the discussion of current and controversial issues.
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It's easy to take democracy for granted. If you live in America. We are not Egypt, Libya, Syria or Iraq. A look at the unstable authoritarianism that exists in those places reminds us of why our democracy has been called the last, best hope on earth. But even here, democracy is not guaranteed. Dr. Francis Fukiyama of Stanford University, in a lecture promoting his two volume study of all the governments in the history of time, said that the greatest threat to America is political instability. Political instability is much less likely in any country where Civics education is robust, where democratic dispositions and practices are modeled and taught. The teaching of Civics in America at this moment, when Presidential candidates refuse to shake hands before debating, is a holy calling, a timely duty. Are you in? Make sure you class includes...
You know that students learn best from things they experience. So fire up Congressional simulations, Supreme Court simulations, Presidential election simulations...
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