Civic Education

Featured

  • Classmates preparing for exams in the library, photo by Prostock-Studio/Getty Images

    Report

    Understanding Media Use and Literacy in Schools

    Jun 29, 2020

    Schools can play a key role in fighting Truth Decay—the diminishing role of facts in U.S. public life—by teaching media literacy to students. How much emphasis do teachers and schools put on this subject?

  • Teacher writing on a blackboard, photo by Andrea Obzerova/Adobe Stock

    Report

    Social Studies Teachers' Trust in Institutions and Groups

    Aug 24, 2020

    U.S. social studies teachers do not have a great deal of trust in many public institutions, such as news outlets and the government. This might have implications for how much they draw on or reference such institutions in their instruction.

Explore Civic Education

  • Blog

    Restoring Public Trust, COVID-19 and Thanksgiving, Vaccinating Teachers: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how the Biden-Harris administration can restore public trust, the risk of Thanksgiving becoming a super-spreader event, why teachers should be among the first to get a COVID19 vaccination, and more.

    Nov 26, 2020

  • U.S. President-elect Joe Biden speaks about the U.S. economy as Vice President–elect Kamala Harris stands by in Wilmington, Delaware, November 16, 2020, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Commentary

    Putting America's Civic Infrastructure on the Biden-Harris Agenda

    Much like our bridges and roads, America's civic infrastructure has been allowed to crumble. This has allowed Truth Decay to set in. The new administration can begin to repair the deep fissures in our society by explicitly and implicitly rehabilitating the nation's civic infrastructure.

    Nov 19, 2020

  • A line chart indicating a decline, with a government building in the background, images by Naypong Studio/Adobe Stock; design by Pete Soriano

    Report

    The Drivers of Institutional Trust and Distrust

    Trust in the government, news media, and other institutions has declined in the past two decades. What factors might explain this decline? And what else do we need to learn in order to begin rebuilding public trust?

    Nov 17, 2020

  • Joel Martinez takes a photo of Washington Gardens Apartments, which collapsed from winds brought by Hurricane Zeta in New Orleans, Louisiana, October 28, 2020, photo by Kathleen Flynn/Reuters

    Commentary

    Disaster Reporting and Its Impacts on Policy and Inequities

    Disaster news tropes may capture audiences' attention to news sites, feeds, and networks, but they ultimately frustrate progress in mitigating the short-term and long-term effects of disasters on communities. It's more important than ever that news stories about disasters in the time of a pandemic frame the impacts of environmental phenomena in meaningful ways.

    Nov 16, 2020

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: November-December 2020

    Features explore the challenge of delivering effective treatments for veterans with co-occuring disorders; teachers, students, and the importance of civic responsibility in present-day America; and teaching and learning in the age of COVID-19.

    Nov 16, 2020

  • Blog

    'Vaccine Nationalism,' a Pandemic Election, Women in the Workforce: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on why 'vaccine nationalism' could be costly, how Americans feel about voting during a pandemic, why women are leaving the workforce, and more.

    Oct 30, 2020

  • Jayson Chang teaches civics at Santa Teresa High School in San Jose, Calif., photo courtesy of Jayson Chang

    Essay

    The Importance of Teaching Civic Responsibility in America

    A survey of civics and social studies teachers asked what they teach, how they teach it, and what they think students need to know. Most said their students absolutely need to learn to be tolerant of different people and groups. And they want their students to see themselves as global citizens.

    Oct 29, 2020

  • Blog

    Truth Decay, Opioid Settlement Funds, Veterans Health Care: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on fighting back against Truth Decay, how to spend opioid settlement funds, China's lack of friends, and more.

    Oct 23, 2020

  • A compass pointing to facts, image by frankpeters/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Think Tanks in the Era of Truth Decay

    Truth Decay is the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life, and it cuts much deeper than any political party or demographic. It's why nonpartisan think tanks like RAND are as important now as they have ever been.

    Oct 22, 2020

  • Female high school teacher standing by student table teaching lesson, photo by Monkey Business/AdobeStock

    Report

    Social Studies Teachers' Perspectives on Key Civic Outcomes in 2010 and 2019

    High school social studies teachers play an important role in fostering the civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions that students need to thrive after graduation. How have these teachers' perspectives on student civic development changed from 2010 to 2019?

    Aug 3, 2020

  • High school students with hands raised during lesson in classroom, photo by Chris Ryan/KOTO/AdobeStock

    Report

    How Teachers Use Civics Instructional Materials

    Teachers' instructional materials provide a window into civic education in schools. Where are public-school social studies teachers getting most of their instructional materials? And how are they using these materials to teach civics?

    Jul 13, 2020

  • Report

    2019 American Teacher Panel Civic Education Survey: Technical Documentation

    As part of the RAND Corporation's Truth Decay initiative, researchers surveyed public-school social studies teachers about approaches to civic education. This report, one in a series of six, provides technical information about the survey.

    Jun 29, 2020

  • An American flag puzzle with a firearm overlay, design by Rick Penn-Kraus/RAND Corporation from images by dusica69 and lnm/Adobe Stock

    Tool

    Gun Policy Research for High School Students

    When RAND's Gun Policy in America initiative released its first set of research tools in 2018, high school teachers reported that their students were keenly interested. This new unit plan, recommended for grades 10 to 12, is designed to help educators and students understand gun policy research.

    Jun 11, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Social Returns to Private Choice? Effects of Charter Schools on Behavioral Outcomes, Arrests, and Civic Participation

    We add to the research on charter school effects by evaluating the impacts of secondary charter school attendance on 9th grade behavioral outcomes and individuals' propensity to commit crime and participate in elections as young adults in North Carolina.

    Jun 5, 2020

  • Employees and volunteers prepare relief boxes at the South Texas Food Bank in Laredo, Texas, March 20, 2020, photo by Veronica Cardenas/Reuters

    Commentary

    What Do You Do with a Problem Like COVID-19?

    Over the last several decades, Americans' trust in their government and its institutions crumbled. Beyond that, the value of truth and expertise, the common bedrock of sound policymaking, was decaying in American society. COVID-19 might present an opportunity to correct some of these ills.

    Apr 10, 2020

  • Two men looking at a phone and wearing face masks, photo by ozgurdonmaz/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How to Contain the Disinformation Virus

    Like COVID-19, disinformation spreads only if we help it spread. While we have all been asked to stay at home as responsible citizens to contain the virus, we should also feel responsible for making it harder for disinformation to spread.

    Apr 9, 2020

  • A man wearing a face mask looks at his phone at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, March 12, 2020, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Q&A

    Truth Decay in the Coronavirus Moment: Q&A with Jennifer Kavanagh

    Jennifer Kavanagh, who wrote the RAND book Truth Decay about the diminishing role that facts play in making important public policy decisions, calls the unfolding situation with the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 a worst-case scenario.

    Mar 17, 2020

  • Blog

    Coronavirus Outbreak, Drones, the U.S. Power Grid: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the intensifying coronavirus outbreak, cyber threats from drones, the vulnerabilities of the U.S. power grid, and more.

    Mar 6, 2020