Educating young people about the Constitution seems, to some skeptics, a waste of time in an age fraught with urgent, pressing issues.  Every day is an apocalypse, according to some political pundits, so why bother with students who won’t be taking positions of influence for years to come?

New evidence indicates that there’s no better time to educate young people about the Constitution than before they reach college.

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute recently released its annual Civic Literacy Report, which tracks the civic knowledge and engagement of college students – to see if they grow more engaged as they progress from freshmen to seniors.

Unfortunately, in college, students grow less inclined to become engaged.

The Report discovers that:

•  ”A college degree fails to promote active civic engagement beyond voting.”

•  ”Greater civic knowledge trumps a college degree as the leading factor in encouraging active civic engagement.”

•  Having a solid civics education taught by a well-trained K-12 teacher positively influences active civic engagement.

The last finding is especially important to our work at the Bill of Rights Institute.  A principles-based civics curriculum taught by a skilled and knowledgeable teacher exerts a huge influence over students at a critical period in their lives – middle and high school.

That is why the Institute helps teachers around the country provide students the tools they need to deepen their civic knowledge – because it is in these formative years that a young person develops the habits that lead to a lifetime of civic engagement.

As ISI’s research shows, it is imperative that we reach students before they enter college, with outstanding, historically accurate materials that educate and inspire them about our nation’s Founding principles. That is the best way to prepare them to take an active role in the civic life of our nation.

The time to introduce young people to the Constitution is now!

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Posted in Civic Education


One Response to “Leaving Home, Leaving History: The Need to Engage Young People Before They Enter College”

  1. Gennie Westbrook says:

    Since many students receive their first formal instruction in U.S. History in the 5th grade, that’s the best time to start engaging them in these important topics. “Outstanding, historically accurate materials that educate and inspire them about our nation’s Founding principles” should be used at 5th grade, middle school, and high school.

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