Last week was a big week for civic education in America, as the Educating for American Democracy (EAD) Roadmap and Report was released. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the U.S. Department of Education, the process to create these products was led by iCivics in partnership with Harvard University, Tufts University, CIRCLE, and Arizona State University. Their collaborative and participatory process unfolded over the course of 16 months and involved a network of over 300 people — scholars, classroom educators, practitioners, and students — to ensure a diversity of perspectives and experiences were represented within its recommendations.
But to be clear, EAD is neither a set of standards nor a curriculum. It’s an advisory document that guides history and civics education via a set of seven themes, six pedagogical principles, and five design challenges — all outlined in the Roadmap. Given the absence of national standards around history and civics education, the Roadmap provides civic educators, policymakers, and curriculum creators a way to shift from “breadth to depth by offering an inquiry framework that weaves history and civics together and inspires students to learn by asking difficult questions, then seeking answers in the classroom through facts and discussion.”
The report characterizes these as ambitious goals, and given the urgency of the moment, it calls upon all sectors and stakeholders — including philanthropy — to play a role. So what are the major takeaways for philanthropy during last week’s release? What should funders know and what role can they play to support EAD moving forward?
Here are our five major takeaways:
- There is philanthropic momentum for civic education and learning.
- EAD steers away from partisanship.
- EAD is a Roadmap, and it needs policy and implementation support.
- There are roles to be played at the national and local levels.
- The moment is now, and the goals are through 2030.
Read the full article about educating for American democracy by Amy Baker McIsaac at Medium.
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