To determine the most effective levers for improving civic education in the United States, we are creating network systems and landscape maps. With input from a large and diverse group of stakeholders – including students, educators, school administrators, parents, civic learning providers, funders, academics and others – gathered through surveys, we will identify the root causes of the poor state of civic learning in this country, without merely asking their opinions about what’s most important.  

Tufts University’s Dr. Peter Levine is leading the research effort and will design the survey instruments.  Dissemination to the various stakeholders will be through a series of large and scaled networks from our coalition partners. We will ensure that we gather input from the full range of representation of all stakeholders in the system.

The research methodology draws from the “Five Whys” framework used extensively in the field of engineering for decades. The Five Whys is a process for brainstorming all the relevant features of a system, rather than simple measures such as voting.  We are deeply grateful to the work done by 100Kin10 in STEM education for paving the way in applying this methodology to make systems level change for improved education.

Through surveys, we will hone in on the most productive levers that could be used to make system level change to improve civic education in our country. Our work will result in a network systems map that will draw links between the most important levers for change, and help us identify effective ways to move the field forward. In addition, the survey will also inform a landscape map of what work is being done by civic learning practitioners and how they perceive collaboration in the field of civic education.

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