What Civic Literacy is doing to prepare students for the MEAP?
The Civic Literacy program utilizes the Need-Demand-Response Model to motivate and compel students to obtain the required knowledge and skills for responsible citizens. This model focuses on how individual and group Needs are translated into Demands to receive effective Responses.
The use of this Need-Demand-Response Model accounts for the needs of a society in all it’s current complexities emphasizing that by bringing this to the forefront of the educational system students become empowered. Students’ needs are expressed in accordance with demands made through a variety of mechanisms, thus forcing curriculum to answer the challenges of those needs. Hence, as the social studies curriculum is introduced it can be directly related to the students’ concerns. This offers relevancy to the curriculum and offers the curriculum a needed boost to engage students in the various areas of concern.
The social studies MEAP is designed in seven strands, including historical perspective, geographic perspective, civic perspective, economic perspective, inquiry, public discourse and decision-making, and citizen involvement. Within each of these strands are twenty-five content standards. The following is a description of what civic literacy does within each strand and the twenty-five content standards across the seven strands.
STRAND I : HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
1.1 Time and Chronology: Time and Chronology is looked at in two of the twenty-four folkways that are used as a base to study every person and event in history.
1.2 Comprehending the Past: Use of the agenda-building questions in a historical perspective helps students to understand the people that have influenced our past in a relevant way as the students are using the same questions to motivate their own projects.
1.3 Analyzing and Interpreting the Past: Students are taught thinking skills and are required to analyze and interpret past events in order to make educated decisions about their agenda and the actions of the future.
1.4 Judging Decisions from the Past: Through the use of evaluative measures, students reflectively look upon historical events and draw personal judgments.
STRAND II : GEOGRAPHIC PERSPECTIVE
2.1 Diversity of People, Places and Cultures: Civic literacy has an undercurrent of multicultural education exposing students to the tools to explore all the cultures of the world.
2.2.Human/Environment, Interaction: Civic literacy project levels encourage interaction of groups, cultures and various human environments on five levels, school, local, regional/state, national and international.
2.3 Location, movement and connections: The use of various cultures, study of these cultures within current and past perspectives along with continuous evaluative thought brings students to not only understand geographical location but the understanding of why these locations have come about.
2.4 Regions, patterns and processes: The use of evaluative skills to distinguish geographical patterns and transform past understandings of events that have formed these patterns bring students to a level of prediction.
2.5 Global Issues and Events: The fifth step of the project level and the eleven steps program to international collaboration between participating civic literacy schools brings about live study of global issues and events on a personal communicative level as well as a livening of text study to students.
STRAND III : CIVIC PERSPECTIVE
3.1 Purposes of Government: Through the five levels of projects, students learn the roles and functions of these systems and their ability to function within.
3.2 Ideals of American Democracy: The project fits with core democratic values and promotes action within those values. Students are shown the essence of a democratic existence – self government.
3.3 Democracy in Action: Promotes voter participation, agenda building and working within current democratic systems.
3.4 American Government and Politics: Includes study of American events of past and present from both a textbook perspective as well as an active role in current political events
3. 5 American Government and World Affairs: The cross comparison of the two project levels of national and international government and political affairs. Involvement in the international collaboration between schools brings the world affairs portion to life application.
STRAND IV : ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVE
4.1 Individual and Household Choices: The project levels work to give students individual choices and a chance to voice opinions as well as vote towards consensus.
4.2 Business Choices: The project levels of civic literacy force students into the realizations of financial management and the boundaries therein.
4.3 Role of Government: Through the project levels the students need to understand government and political systems on five levels and work within them.
4.4 Economic Systems: While working within the role of government Systems, understanding the economic systems is gained as well.
4.5 Trade: Through the study of nations and the folkways, the systems of trade are entered as part of the money, freedom, work, order, rank, power and wealth folkways.
STRAND V : INQUIRY
5.1 Information Processing: The constant bringing in of project levels, group collaboration and historical events not only brings in information processing, but does so at higher level thinking skills.
5.2 Conducting Investigations: Students research their issue agendas in order to be well informed and articulate when building their agenda.
STRAND VI: PUBLIC DISCOURSE & DECISION MAKING
6.1 Identifying and Analyzing Issues: Use of project levels and participation with all forms/levels of government help student to identify, analyze and evaluate public issues and work within them.
6.2 Group Discussion: At the center of the project is communication. Students learn effective group discussion and listening skills.
6.3 Persuasive Writing: Through the recruitment of new schools on local, state, national and international levels, students have the opportunity to begin discourse in training students/teachers in civic literacy process. Students also continue discourse of political issues, voicing their opinions. Students work on various projects that include persuasive writing to gain financial support for projects, express understanding of political views and to gain voter support on issues.
STRAND VII: CIVIC INVOLVELMENT
7.1 Responsible Personal Conduct: This standard is core to the project. Through participation and engagement, students will gain empathy for other concerns/issues and learn that while their opinion is valid, it is not the only opinion.