Does Civics and Economics Really Prepare Students for their Civic Duties?

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“Through the study of Civics and Economics, students will acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to become responsible and effective citizens in an interdependent world,” as stated in the North Carolina public education standards for a Civics and Economics class.

At Leesville, Civics and Economics is usually offered for twelfth graders in order to prepare them for the “real world”. The goal of Civics and Economics is to prepare students to understand and perform their civic duties such as voting, jury service, civic action and running for political office. However, does this class really accurately prepare students?

We polled sophomores in an American History I class as well as seniors at the end of their Civics and Economics class. From these results we concluded that Civics and Economics can accurately increase student’s confidence level in their abilities to perform their civic duties as citizens of the United States.

We also pulled both seniors (already taken Civics and Economics) and sophomores (already taken or taking American History I) and asked them some basic questions about the U.S. Government system such as:

  • Can you name two federal elected officials?
  • Can you name one local elected official?
  • How many amendments are there to the U.S. Constitution?
  • How many Supreme Court judges are there?

While both sophomores and seniors answered questions incorrectly, seniors answered more questions correctly. From these results, we can accurately conclude that Civics and Economics educates seniors on basic, important facts about our government.

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In conclusion, Civics and Economics educates seniors both on basic facts about the government and builds their confidence level in their ability to participate in the government.

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