Strengthening Our Democracy: Civic Participation in the 21st Century

ADL's Strengthening Our Democracy curriculum

ADL's Strengthening Our Democracy: Civic Participation in the 21st Century is a comprehensive and flexible one-semester curriculum for high school students. Educators can use the curriculum to help students explore their civic engagement and examine complex topics through an anti-bias lens.

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Unit 1. A Civic Mindset

The capacity for students to communicate their perspectives and remain open to the possibility of changing their minds, cultivates empathy and skills that are foundational to civic life and global citizenship.

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Unit 1. A Civic Mindset
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Unit 2. Constitution

A key to students' civic knowledge and skills is understanding the Constitution and how to exercise their rights to propose amendments that address important issues of the day and create positive changes in their communities.

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Unit 2. Constitution
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Unit 3. Government

The way the U.S. government works is extraordinary and powerful but the actual day-to-day operations are complex and potentially confusing. Civic participation depends on understanding how local, state, federal and tribal governments work.

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Unit 3. Government
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Unit 4. Participation in Democracy

Interpretation of the Constitution is still evolving. Examining civic issues raised by current events provides opportunities for students to connect knowledge of the Constitution and the democratic process to their day-to-day lives.

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Unit 4. Participation in Democracy
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Unit 5. Identity & Membership

Exploring how people experience the immigration and citizenship process is key to grasping issues of identity and membership that arise when we talk about U.S. citizenship and anti-immigrant bias.

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Unit 5. Identity & Membership
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Unit 6. Media Literacy

We process an astonishing and overwhelming quantity of information daily. Analyzing media sources and recognizing the role of bias in media challenges students to think critically about how they can influence civil life and initiate change.

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Unit 6. Media Literacy