Posted on April 5, 2022
Categories: News from SDP

Generation Citizen Brings Project-Based Civics Programs to the School District of Philadelphia.

Researchers will measure efficacy in randomized control trial

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Beginning in the fall of 2022, the School District of Philadelphia will have the opportunity to feature project-based civics education programs from Generation Citizen (GC). GC, a national nonprofit, partners with teachers and school districts to actively engage students through experiential, civics learning and real-world class projects. Through this partnership, participating twelfth grade social studies teachers will receive GC’s curriculum resources, including a comprehensive professional development package and supportive coaching.

As this program launches, the School District of Philadelphia will participate in a randomized control trial (RCT) with researchers from National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago and the University of Southern California, with support from the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The study will measure the impact of GC’s curriculum on students’ civic knowledge and engagement.

“This new partnership with the School District of Philadelphia is an incredible opportunity for Generation Citizen to support the next generation of civic leaders in a city rich with American democratic history and significance. We are thrilled to expand GC’s reach into Philadelphia and honored to be part of an efficacy study that will provide us with rigorous evaluation data. Knowing how programs are working is a key part of delivering high impact educational experiences for all students,” said Liz Clay Roy, CEO of Generation Citizen.

“The School District of Philadelphia is committed to providing students with high quality social studies curriculum and instruction that will develop them into the leaders that our nation and our world needs,” said Nyshawana Francis-Thompson, Ed.D., Deputy Chief of Curriculum and Instruction. “We are eager to continue to partner with Generation Citizen and researchers from NORC to measure the impact of this program to support our teachers with another tool to engage students in their understanding of their community, nation, and world.”

Civic education provides young people with opportunities to engage in issues of importance in their schools and communities. Research shows young people are skeptical of the political process, as evidenced by a national poll by The Institute of Politics of 18- to 29-year-olds in December 2021 that indicates that a majority of young Americans believe our democracy is “in trouble” or “failing.” Project-based civic learning equips young people with knowledge, dispositions, and 21st-century skills necessary to be empowered and engaged citizens. GC applies best practices in civic education to support a new generation of students who are knowledgeable and actively engaged in the democratic process.

“NORC at the University of Chicago is excited to draw on our evaluation expertise to assess the impact of the Generation Citizen curriculum on student outcomes in civics,” said Dr. Jennifer Hamilton, Vice President. “With the 2024 presidential election around the corner, and the country deeply divided, it is more important than ever to understand the extent to which our Nation’s youth can be empowered to participate in the democratic process.”

Generation Citizen looks forward to supporting the School District of Philadelphia, its educators, and its students, and taking part in such a vital study for civic education. GC is actively seeking teachers who are interested in participating in the program. Interested teachers can learn more and also enroll in this Generation Citizen program on this website.