CREATE is an innovative approach to instruction, student learning and professional development in civics, that integrates American history, geography, government, and media literacy.

CREATE builds on both cutting-edge approaches to civic learning, integrating, and adapting multiple evidence-based strategies and tracking and assessing the resultant outcomes to produce a scalable model for building the civic capacity of communities through their K12 schools.

Civic Renewal through Education for Agency, Tolerance, and Engagement

The CREATE project has five main components:

Civic Learning Repository: an extensive set of resources pertaining to civics, American history, geography, government, and media literacy. The repository will include standards-based lesson plans, PD modules, videos, annotated primary sources, and civic learning activities for classroom and community or community-involved settings.
Professional Development Opportunities: These are intended to enhance and multiply the resources and skills teachers bring to civics and civics-related courses.

Summer Civic Learning Academy: This 14-day program will immerse at least teachers annually in a compressed version of the sort of civics and history curriculum we are asking them to deliver to their students. The Academy will also immerse at least 30 students annually in the same curriculum simultaneously with teachers, providing teachers an opportunity to see students co-direct their own civic learning and preparing students to model such agentic learning in their classrooms.

Teacher-Initiated, Student-Designed Civics and History Projects and Field Trips: Our project includes funding, for teachers with innovative ideas, existing institutional resources, and identified opportunities for modeling constructive civic practices.

Annual Civic Learning Symposium: This symposium will present a unique opportunity to address gaps in teacher knowledge about civic agency and to model engaged citizenship for students. This annual symposium will involve national experts in civics and history as event speakers.

CREATE is designed to enhance educators’ capacity to foster three types of civic learning in students: civic knowledge, or an understanding of American history and political development, governmental structures and processes, and relevant social studies knowledge and concepts; civic skills, or the capacities that enable students to participate in a democracy as free, responsible, deliberative, and productive citizens; and civic dispositions, or the attitudes important in a democracy such as a sense of responsibility for one’s community and nation, an awareness of a shared fate with fellow citizens, curiosity about the challenges and opportunities of public life, and concern for the welfare of others. Our aim is to equip schools to foster civic agency in their students: the capacity to work across differences for shared purposes, in line with their considered values yet in pursuit of a commonwealth reflecting as many divergent perspectives and lifeways as basic justice, general health, and universal dignity can accommodate.