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!

The Power to Change the World: A Teaching Unit on Student Activism in History and Today, New York Times
How much of a difference can young people make in addressing the problems our society faces? What makes their voices uniquely powerful? When have youth-led movements influenced policy in the past, and what can we learn from them? This teaching unit helps students consider these questions, discuss student-led gun-violence activism and school walkouts, and consider actions they might take to influence issues they care about.

The Parkland Teens Are Part Of A Long Line Of Kids Who Led Social Change, Fast Company
This article places the Parkland Teens’ current activism in historical context by highlighting instances of effective youth-led activism dating back more than 100 years.

Students Are Walking Out. Are Schools Ready for When They Walk Back In? Education Week
In this piece, GC’s Director of Programming Sarah Andes and Manager of Policy and Advocacy Dana Harris argue that rather than luring students back onto prescribed curricular paths after moments of upheaval, “we must make our schools a space where they can make sense of the world.” Based on lessons learned through work at GC, they offer lessons for how educators can respond to the challenging political climate.

Training citizens, one student at a time, CommonWealth Magazine
GC Massachusetts Executive Director Arielle Jennings and the Dean of the Tisch College of Civic Life Tufts University, Alan Solomont, explain the state of civics education in Massachusetts and how a new bill in the state legislature would better support educators across the state in providing high-quality civic education for all young people.

Can the Parkland Survivors Inspire a New Focus on Civics Education? Education Week.
Will current attention on youth-led activism will lead to increased focus on civics education in schools? This article explores the question, and highlights Generation Citizen’s Action Civics program as one model of effective civics education.

W.E.B. Du Bois offers lessons to this generation of citizen activists, Boston Globe
On the 150th anniversary of W.E.B. Du Bois birth, former NAACP president Cornell William Brooks presents three lessons that Du Bois’ life can offer current youth activists.