High school civics teachers promote active participation
In response to Ronald Fraser’s Another Voice article titled, “How our civics classes undermine democracy,” I wonder if he has actually spoken to a high school civics teacher or observed a high school civics class. I and the many civics teachers I have worked with do not rely on the textbooks that Fraser deservedly criticizes. We use many sources to teach our students, which include multiple perspectives on power, government and citizenship, as well as requiring research and communicating stands on issues to our elected representatives.
We also encourage, and many times require, active participation in our communities in order for our students to receive the New York State mandated credit for civics. These activities often include participation in activities that exercise their First Amendment rights of petition and assembly.
Please don’t lay the blame for “setting kids up for failure as citizens” at the feet of teachers dedicated to inspiring young adults to care about their country and communities.