Main menu


Ball State University Awarded $1.3 Million Grant to Strengthen Civics Education at Muncie Community School

featured image

Ball State University has been awarded a total of more than $1.3 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Education over three years. This is a citizen update by its project, Education for Agency, or CREATE. This project is affiliated with the American History and Civics Education-National Action Program. This program is funded by Congress as part of the All Student Success Act (ESSA), Public Law 114-95.

Ball State University collaborates with Muncie Community School (MCS) on a project as an innovative approach to civic education, student learning, and professional development that integrates American history, geography, government, and media literacy to develop

Anand R. Mari, Ph.D., President of Ball State Teachers College, and David J. Roof, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Education, will serve as co-Principal Investigators on this project. Ball State’s team also includes: Dr. Jill Bradley-Levine, Associate Professor of Education. Jerell C. Cassady, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Educational Psychology. Kate H. Elliott, Lecturer in Journalism. Dr. Michael T. Ndemanu, Associate Professor of Multicultural Education.

“Our CREATE team seeks to enhance the ability of educators to foster civic learning in their students,” said Dr. Marri. “CREATE builds on both time-tested and state-of-the-art approaches to citizen learning, integration and adaptation of multiple evidence-based strategies, and tracking and evaluating outcomes, and empowers citizens of communities through their communities. Create a replicable and scalable model for building the capacity of K-12 schools.

Once implemented, the CREATE project will develop the following components:

• Civic learning repository with extensive resources on civics, American history, geography, government, and media literacy.

• A wide range of professional development opportunities are provided for civics, history and social studies teachers and administrators during the school year to enhance and double the resources and skills teachers bring to MCS civics and civics-related courses. increase. One of the main focuses of this is parent, family and community involvement.

• Summer Civic Learning Academy for MCS teachers and selected students. In this 14-day program of hers, at least 10 teachers are immersed in the civics and history curriculum each year. The academy also immerses at least 30 students in the same curriculum at the same time as their teachers each year, providing teachers with the opportunity to see students co-direct their own civic learning and allowing students to experience such agent learning in the classroom. Prepare to model the

• Emphasis on teacher-led, student-organized civics and history projects and excursions. The CREATE project includes funding allocated on a competitive basis for teachers with identified opportunities for modeling innovative ideas, existing institutional resources, and constructive civic engagement. increase.

• Annual public learning symposium for teachers, students, project managers, national experts and other stakeholders. This annual symposium will feature national civic and historical experts as event speakers. As an interactive symposium, local teachers present their innovative approaches to the public in their classrooms. The symposium also serves as the premier event for summarizing the innovations and achievements of the previous year.

A key factor in positioning Ball State to develop and disseminate innovative and exceptional approaches to improving the quality of American civics education is that all middle school students in the state will receive a civics course by 2023. New Indiana law requiring students to take To enable students in grades 6 through her grade 8 to take her first semester civics course, the content and purpose of the course or how educators are prepared to design and teach such a course. , the law does not provide detailed guidance.

“Ball State University has demonstrated expertise in innovative learning and teaching related to history, government, geography, and media literacy, as well as developing evidence-based approaches to improve the quality of civic education in America. ‘, said Dr. Roof. “Our leadership in this joint partnership therefore provides an opportunity to share the learning and demonstrably successful innovation of the CREATE project beyond the Muncie community school. It’s about providing a working model to , test and adapt.”

CREATE’s approach to civics education stems from collaboration with a multi-institutional team of nationally recognized academics who are currently piloting a civics curriculum for undergraduates and preschool teachers.

This initial project, funded by the Teagle Foundation and the Minnesota Center for Humanities, aims to transcend the “civil wars” and “historical wars” that dominate higher education critics, instead focusing on the college students themselves. It focused on a documented appetite for practical research. Democratic Education: Prepares them for public purpose and productive citizenship lives as well as positions them for economic success.

The CREATE team aims to enhance educators’ ability to foster three types of civic learning in their students.

• Citizen knowledge or understanding of American history and political development, governmental structures and processes, and related social studies knowledge and concepts.

• Civic skills, or the ability to enable students to participate in democracy as free, responsible, reflective and productive citizens.

• Civic dispositions or attitudes important in democracy. For example, a sense of responsibility towards one’s community and country, a sense of shared destiny with fellow citizens, a curiosity about the challenges and opportunities of public life, and an interest in the welfare of others. .

“Our aim is to enable schools to develop civic agency in their students,” Dr. Mari said. “Students must be capable of working across differences for a common purpose, and be aligned with conceivable values, yet basic justice, general health, and universal dignity can accommodate. We seek common ground that reflects as many diverse perspectives and lifestyles as possible.”