What Happened To Civics Education?

I have been bitching here on IST about the ignorance the American people have on the subject of civics.

Everyday the news is packed full of incidences that illustrate the extent of the ignorance we have on the subject.

This article touches on this problem and some possible solutions.

The week of March 6 is Civic Learning Week, spearheaded by the civic-education network iCivics and marked by a gathering of civics educators and organizations in Washington, D.C. Not only is civics education a worthy cause — it is a critical one. Our nation depends on thoughtful and active citizenship for its very existence.

In a time when so much of our public discourse focuses on what divides us, it is worth remembering that we are all a part of the American political tradition. Left, right, and center — we would all do well to reflect on the tradition that makes us shareholders in a great, diverse, and idealistic nation, and why we should each do our part to keep this tradition alive through civic education. As a self-governing people, we must promulgate and reinforce the central ideas of America at every level of education and in every community.

Yet we have neglected civic education for a generation or more.

First, the progressive movement of the early 20th century challenged traditional American concepts of self-government. Instead, progressives celebrated the administrative state as a solution to the increasing complexity of society’s problems. Rather than solving problems through representative democracy, progressive leaders delegated problems to bureaucracies, and so there arose a professional expert class of civil servants. The knowledge of governing increasingly became a matter for specialized expertise.

Second, in the wake of these progressive innovations, schools lumped much of what was once known as civics and history under the heading of “social studies.” In the classroom, current events and issues often became more important than a deep understanding of our institutions, history, and national creed.

And third, in our haste to make students economically competent, we often overlooked the need for competence in the work of citizenship. In recent years, science, technology, engineering, and math have crowded out other subjects, including civics and history.

How We Lost Our Civics Education — and How We Can Get It Back

I feel without a knowledge of civics our whole system of government is doomed….but that is just me.

30 years ago the stage was set in stone for this wave of stupid…..

“There is a religious war going on in this country,” declared Pat Buchanan at the Republican National Convention in August 1993.   In the impassioned, game-changing speech he added, “It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we shall be as was the Cold War itself, for this war is for the soul of America.”

With that speech, Buchanan launched the current round of the culture wars three decades ago. Today, white Christian conservatism has matured into a unified religious, political and social movement exercising power at both the federal and state levels.

And “the soul of America”?  This question is, once again, being fought over.  Among those battling over the definition of America in the 21st century is those who can best identified as the new Last Ditchers.

The New “Last Ditchers”

We need to be very vigil or our beloved system will become as the dodo….and without a good knowledge of civics can save us from ourselves.


I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


14 thoughts on “What Happened To Civics Education?

  1. You wrote, “Everyday the news is packed full of incidences that illustrate the extent of the ignorance we have on the subject.” My answer: “Everyday the news is packed full of incidences that illustrate the extent of the ignorance that we have on a whole damned lot of subjects.” As to the reason for the death of the civics classes, I can only postulate one theorem: It was done to prevent the American People from understanding how their government works so that some assholes with an aggressive invasive “Take America Over” agenda could have a free hand and operate their subversive machinery under the radar, out of the sight and hearing of the general population. I think they have a damned fine job of subversion and I believe that is why the right wing crazy putin ass kissers have such an easy time of it.

      1. The best education in the world cannot do a thing to help those who choose willful ignorance over knowledge.

      1. You are such a literary treasure that you never have to thank me for inclusion… you are a very valuable resource.

  2. Governor DeSantis is doing a not so fine job of rewriting civics education in Florida and hopes to do so nationwide. Seems he has cohorts in your state,as well as Texas, Tennessee and a few other backward leaning states.

    1. The GOP is doing all it can to stop any quality education….the South has fallen to the lies for 50 years. Sad is it not? chuq

      1. The reason the GOP is doing all it can to stop quality education is because very few of them have ever been exposed to it and those who were exposed are too damned naturally dumb to understand what it is they were looking at.

      2. Sounds right…..as we have discussed everyone that wants to enter into politics must take a civics exam to determine if they are capable of governing. chuq

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.