Civic education is a fundamental part of democracy, as it is essential for citizens to understand the ideals and values of self-government. The civic literacy curriculum of the Center for Political Thought at Arizona State University has been a source of inspiration for more than 30 states to establish civic competence requirements for graduating from high school, half of which have incorporated some type of citizenship test into those requirements. In addition to the acquisition of intellectual knowledge and skills, education for citizenship in a democratic society must focus on the skills that are required for informed, effective and responsible participation in the political process and in civil society. This includes learning about citizens' rights to free speech, assembly, and voting; their responsibility to obey laws; and their duty to participate actively in their community.
From the Freedom Riders who protested against segregation policies in the early 1960s to the Vietnam War protestors in the late 1960s and early 1970s, to the anti-apartheid protestors in Los Angeles in the 1980s, young people have been at the forefront of civic participation. This highlights the importance of civic education in promoting a strong democracy in Central Arizona. Civic education should be designed to help students develop an understanding of how democratic processes work, as well as how to participate in these processes and “participate in the civic life of their communities”. It should also provide them with an understanding of their rights and responsibilities as citizens.
In order for civic education to be effective, it must be taught by qualified teachers who are knowledgeable about the subject matter. It should also be taught using engaging methods such as simulations, debates, role-playing activities, and field trips. These activities can help students gain an understanding of how democracy works and how they can participate effectively in it. Civic education is essential for promoting a strong democracy in Central Arizona. It helps students understand their rights and responsibilities as citizens and encourages them to become active participants in their democracy.
Through engaging activities such as simulations, debates, role-playing activities, and field trips, students can gain an understanding of how democracy works and how they can participate effectively in it.