Civic Education

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  • A woman holding a newspaper and a cell phone, photo by izzetugutmen/Adobe Stock

    Essay

    American News Habits and the Challenge of Truth Decay

    Mar 4, 2020

    RAND researchers asked people where they get their news, how reliable they think it is, and whether they seek out viewpoints that are different from their own. The results provide some new clues to help diagnose and treat Truth Decay.

  • Woman holding a laptop and looking at various news and media images, photo by metamorworks/Getty Images

    Report

    Media Literacy Education as a Tool for Mitigating 'Truth Decay'

    Jul 11, 2019

    Can media literacy education help counter the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life? To find out, RAND experts analyzed what we know—and don't know—about the subject.

Explore Civic Education

  • Torn American flag waving in the wind on a cloudy day

    Commentary

    The Diminishing Role of Facts in American Public Life

    Without agreement about objective facts and a common understanding of and respect for data and analytical interpretations of those data, it becomes nearly impossible to have the types of meaningful policy debates that form the foundation of democracy.

    Jan 17, 2018

  • News Release

    Declining Trust in Facts, Institutions Imposes Real-World Costs on U.S. Society

    Americans' reliance on facts to discuss public issues has declined significantly in the past two decades, leading to political paralysis and collapse of civil discourse. This phenomenon, referred to as “Truth Decay,” is defined by increasing disagreement about facts, a blurring between opinion and fact, an increase in the relative volume of opinion and personal experience over fact, and declining trust in formerly respected sources of factual information.

    Jan 16, 2018

  • Truth Decay title on public space with people and information

    Project

    Truth Decay: Fighting for Facts and Analysis

    RAND is studying “Truth Decay”—the diminishing reliance on facts and analysis in American public life. Truth Decay presents a threat to both evidence-based policymaking and democracy. RAND invites fellow researchers and engaged stakeholders to join our efforts to find solutions.

    Jan 15, 2018

  • A row of people on their mobile phones

    Research Brief

    Truth Decay: A Threat to Policymaking and Democracy

    The line between fact and fiction in American public life is blurring. This “Truth Decay” phenomenon affects democracy and political and civil discourse, driving wedges between policymakers and neighbors alike. But research and analysis can serve as a launching point to rein Truth Decay in.

    Jan 15, 2018

  • The words Truth Decay over a fading American flag painted on wood

    Report

    Declining Trust in Facts and Institutions Imposes Costs on Society

    “Truth Decay” is the diminishing reliance on facts and analysis in American public life. It has many damaging consequences: the erosion of civil discourse, political paralysis, alienation and disengagement from political and civic institutions, and uncertainty over U.S. policy.

    Jan 15, 2018

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: March-April 2016

    This issue highlights RAND research on new ways to measure wellbeing in cities; effects of cigarette advertising on teens; supermarkets in so-called "food deserts"; the decline of civics education in American schools; and more.

    Feb 29, 2016

  • Students pledging allegiance to the American flag

    Commentary

    Strengthening Our Democracy Starts in School

    The teaching of civics and other social studies courses has hit hard times in most states, driven in part by accountability systems that reward schools for math and reading scores. Yet civic education is critical to the stability of our democracy and seems warranted now more than ever.

    Dec 17, 2015

  • teenager with laptop

    Commentary

    Nine Lessons on How to Teach 21st Century Skills and Knowledge

    Despite widespread agreement among parents, educators, employers and policymakers worldwide that students need skills like critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork and creativity, these skills are stubbornly difficult to teach and learn, write Anna R. Saavedra and V. Darleen Opfer.

    Oct 19, 2012

  • An illustration of a person thinking

    Blog

    10 Books That Will Change the Way You Think

    The Pardee RAND Graduate School asked its faculty members to name the books that inspired them, and remain essential reading for anyone who wants to stretch themselves and how they view the world.

    Jul 19, 2012

  • Events @ RAND Audio Podcast

    Multimedia

    A Conversation with the Chief Justice of California, Tani Cantil-Sakauye

    In April 2012, RAND presented, as part of its Distinguished Speaker Series, A Conversation with the Chief Justice of California, Tani Cantil-Sakauye. The Chief Justice shared her insights on a range of issues such as innovative technologies that have been shown to improve efficiencies in the judicial system.

    Apr 17, 2012

  • Report

    Overview of Research Literature Finds Positive Effects of Education on Community

    A review of existing research prepared for a group of Santa Monica community and school leaders finds strong evidence of a positive correlation between education and community health, as measured through data on crime, employment and earnings, housing values and tax revenues.

    Jul 29, 2008