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Civics derives from the Latin word civicus, meaning "relating to a citizen", and the Latin civica, a garland of oak leaves worn about the head as a crown, a practice in ancient Rome wherein someone who saved another Roman citizen from death in war was rewarded with the civica and the right to wear it. It is analogous to modern day military medals. The term itself ultimately derives from the Latin civis, meaning citizen. The English usage of civics relates to behavior affecting other citizens, particularly in the context of urban development.
Civic education is the study of the theoretical, political and practical aspects of citizenship, as well as its rights and duties.It includes the study of civil law and civil code, and the study of government with attention to the role of citizens―as opposed to external factors―in the operation and oversight of government.
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Sudbury schools contend that values, social justice and democracy must be learned through experienceas Aristotle said: "For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them." They adduce that for this purpose schools must encourage ethical behavior and personal responsibility. In order to achieve these goals schools must allow students the three great freedoms—freedom of choice, freedom of action and freedom to bear the results of action—that constitute personal responsibility. The "strongest, political rationale" for democratic schools is that they teach "the virtues of democratic deliberation for the sake of future citizenship." This type of education is often alluded to in the deliberative democracy literature as fulfilling the necessary and fundamental social and institutional changes necessary to develop a democracy that involves intensive participation in group decision making, negotiation, and social life of consequence.
Citizen is the status of a person recognized under the custom or law as being a legal member of a sovereign state or belonging to a nation. The idea of citizenship has been defined as the capacity of individuals to defend their rights in front of the governmental authority.
The Sudbury Valley School was founded in 1968 by a community of people in Framingham, Massachusetts, United States. As of 2019, there are several schools that claim to be based on the Sudbury Model in the United States, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Japan and Switzerland.
Minimally invasive education (MIE) is a form of learning in which children operate in unsupervised environments. The methodology arose from an experiment done by Sugata Mitra while at NIIT in 1999, often called The Hole in the Wall, which has since gone on to become a significant project with the formation of Hole in the Wall Education Limited (HiWEL), a cooperative effort between NIIT and the International Finance Corporation, employed in some 300 'learning stations', covering some 300,000 children in India and several African countries.
A Sudbury school is a type of school, usually for the K-12 age range, where students have complete responsibility for their own education, and the school is run by a direct democracy in which students and staff are equal citizens. Students use their time however they wish, and learn as a by-product of ordinary experience rather than through coursework. There is no predetermined educational syllabus, prescriptive curriculum or standardized instruction. This is a form of democratic education. Daniel Greenberg, one of the founders of the original Sudbury Model school, writes that the two things that distinguish a Sudbury Model school are that everyone - adults and children - are treated equally and that there is no authority other than that granted by the consent of the governed.
Democratic education is an educational ideal in which democracy is both a goal and a method of instruction. It brings democratic values to education and can include self-determination within a community of equals, as well as such values as justice, respect and trust.
Human rights education is defined as the learning process that builds up the required knowledge, values, and proficiency of human rights of which the objective is to develop an acceptable human rights culture. This type of learning teaches students to examine their experiences from the human rights point of view enabling them to integrate these concepts into their values and decision-making. According to Amnesty International, human rights education is a way to empower people so that they can create skills and behavior that would promote dignity and equality within the community, society, and all over the world.
Critical consciousness, conscientization, or conscientização in Portuguese, is a popular education and social concept developed by Brazilian pedagogue and educational theorist Paulo Freire, grounded in post-Marxist critical theory. Critical consciousness focuses on achieving an in-depth understanding of the world, allowing for the perception and exposure of social and political contradictions. Critical consciousness also includes taking action against the oppressive elements in one's life that are illuminated by that understanding.
Freedom to Learn (FTL) is a statewide education program in Michigan helping schools create high performing, student-centered learning environments by providing each student and teacher with direct, consistent access to 21st century learning tools.
The Encampment for Citizenship (EFC) is a non-profit, non-partisan, non-sectarian organization that conducts residential summer programs with year-round follow-up for young people of widely diverse backgrounds and nations. The Encampment program brings youth together to form a self-governing community, learn to think critically about pressing social and political issues, and become empowered to take action. EFC was founded in 1946 by Algernon D. Black, a leader of the New York Society for Ethical Culture, and Alice K. Pollitzer, a prominent civic leader. The program was sponsored by the American Ethical Union and its affiliated societies, in particular the New York Ethical Culture Society. The first Encampment was held at the Fieldston School.
James Hamilton Tully is the Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Law, Indigenous Governance and Philosophy at the University of Victoria, Canada. Tully is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and Emeritus Fellow of the Trudeau Foundation. He is one of the most influential and distinctive political philosophers writing today.
The Beach School was a democratic free school in Toronto based on the Sudbury principles of education. The model has two basic tenets: educational freedom and democratic governance. Small and independent, The Beach School was a community of self-motivated learners, aged 4–19, who determined their own curriculum, and each had an equal voice in school governance. Located at 42 Edgewood Ave near Kingston Road and Dundas Street East, the school opened in the fall of 2003 and closed in June 2008 owing to a shortage of students. The Beach School was incorporated as a co-operative and, at the time of closing, was one of two Sudbury schools in Canada; the only one in Ontario.
Daniel A. Greenberg, one of the founders of the Sudbury Valley School, has published several books on the Sudbury model of school organization, and has been described by Sudbury Valley School trustee Peter Gray as the "principal philosopher" among its founders. He is a former physics professor at Columbia University, and is described by Lois Holzman as the school's "chief 'philosophical writer'".
Global civics proposes to understand civics in a global sense as a social contract among all world citizens in an age of interdependence and interaction. The disseminators of the concept define it as the notion that we have certain rights and responsibilities towards each other by the mere fact of being human on Earth.
Citizenship Counts is a non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization based in Arizona that is dedicated to inspiring American youth with a civic education curriculum that teaches them the value and responsibilities of citizenship, promotes pride in American citizenship, and encourages students to be involved in their communities.
iCivics, inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States that provides educational online games and lesson plans to promote civics education and encourage students to become active citizens. iCivics was founded in 2008 by retired Supreme Court of the United States Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. iCivics’s stated mission is to “ensure every student receives a high-quality civic education, and becomes engaged in – and beyond – the classroom.”
Action Civics is an applied civic education process in which:
Citizenship education is taught in schools, as an academic subject similar to politics or sociology.
Tavaana: E-Learning Institute for Iranian Civil Society provides free online training and Persian and English learning resources to Iranians. Tavaana – meaning "empowered" and "capable" in Persian – was launched in 2010 with a mission “to support active citizenship and civic leadership in Iran through education and civil society capacity building.”