Classroom Law Project is a non-profit organization of individuals, educators, lawyers, and civic leaders building strong communities by teaching students to become active citizens.
Democracy is not a given. All young people need to acquire and learn the skills, knowledge and attitudes that will prepare them for a life of informed democratic citizenship and participation. This is one of the reasons that public education was created in the first place. New priorities and challenges have put that mission at risk. Mandatory high-stakes testing in reading, math and science (all vital skills) have reshaped the distribution of educational resources — meaning instruction time and money. Testing in social studies (which includes civics and the workings of democracy) is not mandatory, and almost always takes a distant back seat.
Classroom Law Project began and still operates every day on a single core belief: the way to preserve democracy is to teach democracy. And the best way to teach democracy is to incorporate its many vital lessons and principles into the school curriculum. Students learn through mock trials, simulated hearings, discussing public issues and much more, gaining the knowledge and tools required for active, effective participation as citizens in our contemporary democratic society. Their teachers are supported with professional development and new strategies for increasing student knowledge and engagement.
SPECIAL REPORT: Civic Skills and Federal Policy
On April 29, 2010, scholars, civic leaders, and federal officials met in Washington to develop a federal policy agenda for civic skills. The conference was convened by CIRCLE at Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service. It was co-sponsored by the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools and Strengthening Our Nation’s Democracy (SOND).
Click here to read the full report.