Educating for American Democracy (EAD) is an unprecedented effort that convened a diverse and cross-ideological group of scholars and educators to create a Roadmap to Educating for American Democracy— guidance and an inquiry framework that states, local school districts, and educators can use to transform teaching of history and civics to meet the needs of a diverse 21st century K–12 student body.
EAD is a call to action to invest in strengthening history and civic learning, and to ensure that civic learning opportunities are delivered equitably throughout the country.
A Roadmap for Civic Education
The United States stands at a crossroads of peril and possibility. After years of polarization, our country is highly divided and there has been widespread loss of confidence in, understanding of and appreciation for our form of government and civic order. We must rebuild our civic strength. In response to this urgent need, the Educating for American Democracy (EAD) initiative brought together a national network of more than 300 scholars, classroom educators from every grade level, practitioners, and students from ideologically and demographically diverse backgrounds and roles, who pooled their expertise to create a strategy for providing excellent history and civic education to all students.
The EAD Roadmap includes suggested educational strategies for every grade level, a website of curated examples and implementation recommendations that each state and district can use to fit the needs of their own, unique communities. It details benchmarks for state-level accountability to support continuous improvement—as well as recommendations for investment in developing a corps of history and civics educators.
Educating for American Democracy is a cross-partisan effort led by the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, the School of Civic & Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University, Tufts University’s Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement and Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, and iCivics, the country’s largest civic education provider.
How to Support Educating for American Democracy
The renewal of history and civic education will require the input and participation of everyone from educators and school and state administrators, to local, state, and federal lawmakers, parents, students and community members. It will require a harmonized “collaborative federalism” approach across all jurisdictions—local, tribal, state, and national. To that effect:
- We encourage you to take the time to learn more about EAD and then reach out to stakeholders in your community to help inspire them to utilize the EAD Roadmap.
- Visit educatingforamericandemocracy.org to download a copy of the Roadmap and Report.
- For more specific information about what you can do, click on “Take Action” on educatingforamericandemocracy.org and look for the stakeholder brief that best matches your role.
Press about Educating for American Democracy:
Manisha Aggarwal-Schiffelite, "Redrawing the Civics Education Roadmap: New Standards Prioritizes Depth of Knowledge over Quantity of Facts," Harvard Gazette (March 1, 2021).
Lamar Alexander, Arne Duncan, John King, Rod Paige, Richard Riley and Margaret Spellings, "America Needs History and Civics Education to Promote Unity," The Wall Street Journal (March 1, 2021).
Danielle Allen and Paul Carrese, "Our Democracy Is Failing. Civic Education Has To Be Part of the Cure," The Washington Post (March 2, 2021).
"'Educating for American Democracy:' More History and Civics Needed in K-12," News and Guts (March 2, 2021).
Emma Greguska, "ASU, diverse team of collaborators release 'Roadmap to Educating for American Democracy'," ASU News (March 2, 2021).
Joe Heim, "Massive Investment in Social Studies and Civics Education Proposed to Address Eroding Trust in Democratic Institutions," The Washington Post (March 1, 2021).
Joe Heim interview with Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, "How to Fix our Democracy? Start in Kindergarten," Can He Do That? podcast (March 4, 2021).
Rick Hess, "Approaching EAD’s New Civics Roadmap With Eyes Wide Open," Education Week (March 3, 2021).
Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg and Louise Dubé, "The road to a stronger democracy begins in the classroom," Boston Globe (March 8, 2021).
Spencer Lee Lenfield, "A Roadmap for Reforming Civic Education," Harvard Magazine (March 2, 2021).
Peter Levine, "Design Challenges for Civics and History Educators," Medium.com (March 3, 2021).
Kevin Mahnken, "After Year of ‘Peril’ for Democracy, Scholars Release New Framework for History and Civics in Schools," The74Million.org (March 1, 2021).
Stephen Sawchuck and Sarah Schwartz, "New National Civics Guidelines Carve a Middle Path for Teachers in a Polarized Climate," Education Week (March 1, 2021).
Tara D. Shonenshine, "Teaching democracy instead of just preaching it: A call for civic education," The Hill (March 2, 2021).
Sarah Swann, "Massive Investment in Civic Education Proposed to Reinvigorate Democracy," The Fulcrum (March 2, 2021).
Judy Woodruff interview with Danielle Allen, "https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/can-teaching-civics-in-schools-help-break-down-barriers-in-american-society," PBS NewsHour (March 1, 2021).
Meg Woolhouse, "Hundreds Of Scholars Across Political Spectrum Recommend New Curriculum For Civics," WGBH News (March 1, 2021).
Matt Zalaznick, "12 ways better civics teaching creates ‘reflective patriots’," District Administration (March 3, 2021).