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Photo of a Stanford GSE event near Cubberley Building

Youth Civic Development and Education Conference

Thursday, February 7, 2013
9:00am - 4:00pm


9:00   Welcome by William Damon

9:30   Rick Hess and Eric Liu: Reinvigorating Youth Citizenship

11:00 Carole Hahn and Diana Hess: Civic Education and Classroom Practice

12:00 Lunch will be provided

 1:00   James Banks, Rachel Moran and Marcelo Su├írez-Orozco: Civic Identity in a Diverse Society

3:00   Capstone Discussion

4:00   Reception


A thriving democracy demands that citizens be civically informed and have the skills needed for effective community and political participation. Historically, schools have played a crucial role in preparing young people for informed and engaged citizenship. Yet, today there are numerous challenges and controversies preventing schools from fulfilling that role. Schools today are pressed to raise test scores in reading and math, and close the academic achievement gap, forcing them to diminish civics programs. Moreover, the content of civic education has become contentious as questions arise about what it means to be a citizen, how immigrant experiences and identity should be represented in a curriculum that strives to educate for a united citizenry, and how teachers should address the deep political distrust and partisanship that causes the very notion of U.S. patriotism to be controversial.

In each session of this conference, we will engage with these challenging issues and strive for new ways to address them. Topics to be discussed include: Revitalizing the civic mission of schools through policy innovations; implementing classroom practices that have an impact on youth civic engagement in a challenging school climate; the paradox of citizenship in a nation of immigrants; and educating for a unified civic vision in a diverse society. 


RSVP to Elissa Hirsh at