What We’re Reading

Every few weeks, GC picks out a selection of articles that are relevant to our work and to the civics education space as a whole. We at GC love to expand our learning in every aspect of what we do, and we hope you enjoy our selections!


A Great New Accidental Renaissance. The New York Times.

This op-ed discusses what the author sees as a surge in democratic interest and participation in the time since the election. Newspaper circulation is up, historical lessons are being revived, and, perhaps most importantly, “students are clamoring to talk about government and politics.”


On Both The Left And Right, Trump Is Driving New Political Engagement. NPR.

Sociologists are noticing unprecedented grassroots activism across the country, on both sides of the political spectrum, spurred in large part by the unique qualities of President Trump.


Legislation would require R.I. students to get lessons on historical U.S. documents. Providence Journal.

Recently introduced legislation in Rhode Island would require public high schools to teach the nation’s founding documents. This news story on the bill and the debate around it features comments from GC’s Rhode Island Executive Director Tom Kerr-Vanderslice, who explains that “States are moving away from graduation requirements based on testing about the U.S. Constitution and the Federalist Papers, which is what this bill does, and moving toward engaging young people to do civic education projects where they learn how their communities function.”


Can Millennials Save the Democratic Party? (The Atlantic) and Millennials Can’t Save the Democratic Party (National Review).

These two pieces (the second was prompted by the first), explore the high-stakes fight for millennials’ political allegiances. As a whole, millennials have tended to favor Democrats in recent elections, but their impact on elections has been blunted by dismal turnout numbers. However, socioeconomic factors other than age provide even better correlations to party preference, and some conservatives believe millennials will shift right as the generation ages.


Travel Abroad, in Your Own Country. The New York Times.

“In a fissured nation, there are fewer and fewer moments of genuine encounter between rival tribes, each confined in its ideological canyon,” observes the author of this op-ed. However, a robust national service program could effectively break down the political and cultural divides the country suffers from, and it is an investment the government should consider.