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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • Teaching civics

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  • There are generally two sets of mandated objectives such as the Common Core State Standard (CCSS), and No Child Left Behind (NCLB) to assess pupil achievement in the public school setting. Their focus mainly is to evaluate progress in reading/language arts and mathematics. These are two vital curriculum areas. The scope needs to be broadened, however. There are educators who strongly believe that one area, civics instruction, is lacking. Good citizenship may be integrated with all academic areas taught, that being to stress appropriate behavior throughout the school day. However, civics education should be taught in depth with separate units of study. There are a plethora of reasons for this emphasis when studying happenings during the recent weeks which includes
    * An eighteen month old baby shot to death in a stroller by a passer by
    * An Australian student murdered in a thrill slaying, near an Oklahoma university
    * An 88 year old veteran beaten to death, and the list goes on with murders, rape, robberies, and the like.
    These incidences are detrimental to society in daily duties and responsibilities to be performed at the workplace, as well as a lack of feelings in personal safety.
    The media has carried many news items on bullying in schools. Thus, harassment has made for many problems in teaching and learning situations. Pupils become fearful of attending school and worry what will happen to them. Civics instruction and good citizenship behavior can do much to benefit pupils, teachers, and school administrators in developing proper discipline. Civics also involves a study of ethics, government, politics, and current events. Not only should civics involve the studying of good behavior in school, among other things, but also assist pupils to put into practice what has been learned.
    — Marlow Ediger, North Newton

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