I have begun looking into a site called Countables, positioned as a tool to connect people with those in government, including one’s state representatives.
However, civic awareness (or the lack thereof) may need more than an app. There’s a video going around showing students of a Texas university being asked basic questions such as ‘Who won the Civil War?’ or Who is our vice president?” Watch!
The producers of PoliTech, say they interviewed 20 to 30 students, of which only 30 percent knew the answers to some of the questions.In this context it seems obvious that a pre-requisite for getting young people to be better informed, is to get them better engaged.
- In 2002, a study by National Geographic found that less than half the Americans could identify France, the United Kingdom or Japan on a world map. (Fewer than 2 in 3 could find China on a map of the Middle East/Asia…half of young Americans could find New York, etc)
- In 2014, a study by the NAEP found that 23 percent of eighth-graders performed at or above the Proficient level in civics.
Next week is Digital Learning Day, an event I participate in with my classes. Perhaps there should be a Civics Literacy Day.