Developing educated, informed, and engaged citizens.

Concept Map


School leaders have a clear commitment to the civic mission of the school, dedicate necessary resources to sustain this vision, and ensure all students have equitable access to civic learning


  • Calendar and budgeting data for PD
  • Documents related to process for hiring staff
  • Results from surveys given to staff and students
  • Vertical articulation of civic learning


  • Giving support to teachers across the curriculum as they integrate civic learning opportunities in their classrooms
  • Ongoing conversations with staff about civic mission of school and progress on those goals
  • Creating community partnerships that advance the vision of the school
  • Including students on schoolwide and districtwide committees
  • Democracy School Team represents diverse areas of the school and promotes civic learning in all disciplines
  • Budget reflects a commitment to schoolwide civic learning
  • Using models that create a culture of positive conversation (IQEE: Interrupt, Question, Educate, Echo)

Connections to Principles of "Lived Civics"

  • Involving students in creating a mission statement, and monitoring progress on goals
  • Ensuring equitable civic learning opportunities for all students

Case Study

Shawnee High School is deeply rooted in civic learning—from a staff-initiated Veterans Wall Memorial with over 1000 names that are displayed, to its daily routines, thought-out processes, inclusive practices, and committed staff. This is a place where teachers are given the freedom to design their own curriculum where they incorporate controversial issues, simulations, and other proven practices in civic learning. The Social Science teacher uses mock elections and mock trials; the English teachers and science teacher find creative ways to infuse simulations; the art teacher encourages her students to create sketches that will later be turned into t-shirts to raise money and awareness for various causes, which the entire school will later study.

These teachers readily collaborate with each other and discuss controversial issues in their classes, encouraging critical thinking. The administration also trusts the social sciences to bring media into the classroom on a regular basis to help bring awareness to their ongoing service learning project about saving the levees that protect their district from the Mississippi River, and they welcome politicians from both sides of the aisle into the school so students can educate them on flooding issues. Additionally, the principal is an integral member of the Democracy School team and encourages her teachers to dream big when it comes to improving the school’s climate.