Has America Ever Been Good at Teaching Civics?

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Has America Ever Been Good at Teaching Civics?

Join us for a free evening discussion about civic knowledge throughout history. Free tickets required to attend: http://s.si.edu/WIMTBA.

As part of our ongoing “What It Means to Be American” national conversation series with Zocalo Public Square, on November 14 we will be joined by Academy Award-winning actor and Dreyfuss Civics Initiative founder Richard Dreyfuss and pollster and language specialist Frank Luntz discuss whether Americans’ civic knowledge can catch up with our civic duties.

The United States demands much of its citizens—to understand enough of the history and structure of American government so that they can understand difficult issues, discuss their differing opinions with civility, and participate in their own government. But how good has the country been at developing the civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions a self-governing people need?

Throughout our history, concerns have been raised about whether our schools and our governing institutions are preparing Americans for civic life. And in today’s digital age, civics has been pushed aside as American classrooms put more emphasis on STEM education. Could more effective civics courses help temper the country’s political polarization and conflict? And how could we find more space for high-quality civic learning at a time when educators are already asked to do so many different things?

Free tickets to this event are available here: http://s.si.edu/WIMTBA

“What It Means to Be American” is a national, multiplatform, multimedia conversation hosted by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and Zócalo Public Square that brings together leading thinkers, public figures, and Americans from all walks of life to explore big, visceral questions about how our nation’s past can help us understand its present and imagine its future. Through live public events in nine cities, widely syndicated humanities journalism, and robust partnerships with universities and national media outlets, we are asking and hoping to find many answers to the question, what does it mean to be American?

November 14 2017


Date: November 14, 2017
Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
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National Museum of American History

14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20560 United States

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