Protecting America Through Better Civic Education
Ravert, Brian P.
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How does civic education affect homeland security? A civic education curriculum that provides for the foundations of our youths individual and collective identity may significantly contribute to the preservation of our democracy and enhance homeland security. Through a civic education, students can enhance their grasp of the concepts of our American representative democracy and learn the tenets of good citizenship, critical thinking, and the ability to self-govern. Presidential Directive Number Eight (8) clearly indicates the need for national preparedness using a whole of nation approach. The plan requires robust citizen engagement. To have an informed engaged citizenry and for a democracy to thrive, the populace must be educated. But there is no guidance or mention of the education of American youth or how such education may play a role in achieving the goals of national preparedness. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reported in 2010 that only 27 percent of the nations fourth-grade students were proficient in civics. Only 22 percent and 24 percent of eighth-grade and twelfth-grade students, respectively, were proficient in the area. Civic education must provide youth with a personal and collective identity.
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