As former elementary school teachers, the authors focus on what is possible in schools rather than a romantic vision of what schools could be. Based on a 5-year study of an elementary school, this book shows how civic engagement can be purposive and critical, a way to encourage young people to examine their environment, to notice and question injustices, and to take action to make a difference in their communities and school.
Focusing on the intersection of student voice and critical inquiry, the book describes how to embed civic engagement into curriculum, school decision-making processes, and whole-school activities. Chapters provide an overview of what research has demonstrated about civic engagement at the classroom, school, and community levels, including detailed descriptions of activities and lessons for practice. Classroom teachers, school principals, community members, and teacher educators can use this resource to foster a deeper, richer understanding of what is entailed in civic life.