Wednesday, October 18, 2023
Nonpartisan curriculum resource supports student excellence in civic literacy and civic engagement
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MADISON — Building off State Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly’s vision of having robust civics education in Wisconsin schools, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction today published a K-8 scope and sequence for civics and social studies education and a high school government or civics course.
This nonpartisan civics and social studies curriculum resource is aligned to Wisconsin Academic Standards and was created in collaboration with educators, CESAs and multiple state and community organizations. It incorporates multiple viewpoints and place-based learning, and it is intended to guide educators in effectively teaching civics and social studies.
“As a former civics teacher and current elected official, I firmly believe that civics learning is how we unlock a strong, civil society where challenging discourse is not only allowed for, but also valued highly, and used as a way to learn from each other and grow together,” State Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly said. “I already see so much civic engagement in Wisconsin’s youth, and I look forward to supporting their learning further with this scope and sequence.”
The goal of this teaching and learning resource is to support excellence in civic literacy and civic engagement so all students can learn to become both engaged citizens and critical consumers of information. Through multiple grade level units of study, the scope and sequence promotes active involvement among students in the civil discourse of their local and tribal communities, state, nation, and the world, and supports them in understanding and participating in the processes of government, including voting. It is intended to help students see themselves as essential members of their communities and provide opportunities to actively participate in civic learning and problem solving.
“I want all Wisconsin students to be active participants in the civic life of our state and our nation. To be active participants in democracy, they need that strong foundation,” Dr. Underly said. “Students need to know how to examine history, think critically, and make informed decisions about their future, which is, of course, our collective future. They need robust civics learning, and that is what this scope and sequence is designed to provide.”
The work toward producing this supporting resource started in Spring 2022, when a workgroup comprised of educators across the state was formed. The group met virtually throughout the year to gain valuable feedback and ideas to start developing the resource. In Spring 2023, the Civics Fellows Network, comprised of classrooms teachers in each of the 12 CESAs, convened. This intentional collaboration across the state helped ensure multiple stakeholders’ ideas were incorporated in the creation of this valuable resource. The DPI will hold several webinars throughout the fall to help educators looking for more information on implementing this scope and sequence resource into civics and social studies curriculum.