The Current Logo

Ethan Zuckerman confronts the "narrative of civics in crisis" on Connected Learning today

Written by Jon Barilone
February 26, 2013

Ethan Zuckerman confronts the “narrative of civics in crisis,” and poses thoughtful questions on how we can strive for civics education that is both effective and engaging.

Excerpts from “Is Civics in Crisis? Or Just Changing its Shape?”

If civics is in crisis, it’s a long crisis, not a sudden development…If we conclude that civics is in crisis, there’s a hard question to answer: what would we do to help students prepare to become more effective citizens?

If we measure civic engagement in terms of voting, participation in political conversations and performance on standardized tests, it’s likely that we’re failing to measure a great deal of activity many of us would define as civic participation. The same young person who doesn’t vote may be engaged in passionate conversations, online and offline, about libertarianism or about the Occupy movement.

We need a better choice than thin and effective versus thick and ineffective…

Read Ethan’s full post at You can also chat with him about this topic today from 9-10am PT at

Related posts