German schools a good model for civic education lessons

“What is controversial in society must be presented as controversial,” explains Koehler. “The idea is so they can make their own views. There must be no conversion on political issues. This protects political education from political overreach.”

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Opinion

March 22, 2021 - 8:11 AM

Anyone who wondered, during this past annus horribilis, whether many Americans no longer grasped the meaning of democracy, could find plenty of stats to back that dismal conclusion.

In 2018 only around a third of Americans could pass a basic U.S. citizenship test modeled on the one required of immigrants for naturalization, according to a survey released by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship foundation. And that was before the Trump administration made the immigration test harder.

And in 2019, the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania found that only 39% of American adults could name all three branches of our federal government. In 2020, that number jumped to 51%, perhaps because the first impeachment of Donald Trump provided a short course in civics.

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