National Endowment for the Humanities & U.S. Department of Education Award $650,000 to iCivics

November 05, 2019

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education (ED), has awarded a $650,000 cooperative agreement to iCivics to lead a coalition of experts in assessing the state of, and best practices in, the teaching of American history, civics, and government in K-12 education. This cooperative project is part of NEH’s newly announced “More Perfect Union” initiative focused on the upcoming 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States.

This project is a partnership between iCivics, the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University, and Tufts University Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement and Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life.

Called Educating for American Democracy: A Roadmap for Excellence in History and Civics Education for All Learners, this initiative will bring together more than 100 leading academics and practitioners in education, civics, history, and political science to evaluate the current state of history and civics curricula across the country.

Those discussions will ultimately inform a “roadmap for excellence” that will outline for teachers, schools, as well as district and state policy-makers high-priority civic content areas, and recommend instructional strategies and best practices for integrating the teaching of civics and history at every grade level for today's diverse learners.

“Educating for American Democracy is an effort to provide guidance for integrating history and civics so that today’s learners form a strong connection to our constitutional democracy—and take ownership of it,” said Louise Dubé, Executive Director of iCivics. “We are very thankful that this cooperative agreement with NEH/ED will give our team of experts, academics, and practitioners the opportunity to design a trans-partisan roadmap for excellence in history and civics education.”

This roadmap and accompanying report will be released prior to a national forum in 2020 in Washington, D.C., co-hosted by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History and the National Archives and Records Administration Foundation.

“As the United States looks toward our 250th anniversary as a nation in 2026, it is critical that our K-12 educational system teaches the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and the democratic principles on which the country was founded,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “The National Endowment for the Humanities is pleased to be working with the Educating for American Democracy team to identify ways to improve the teaching and learning of American history and government so that all students gain an appreciation of the workings of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy.”