Understanding and Promoting High Quality Civic Education

CSG Federalism Task Force

Understanding and Promoting High Quality Civic Education

August 11, 2014

Public education in the U.S. was established with a vitally important civic mission—to prepare each generation for informed and engaged citizenship. As part of CSG’s ongoing work exploring the history and current challenges of federalism, this session took a step back and explored how we are teaching future generations about government and civic participation.


Marilyn R. Cover, Founder and Executive Director, Classroom Law Project; Professor at Lewis and Clark Law School

Diana Hess, Senior Vice President, Spencer Foundation; Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ted McConnell, Executive Director, Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools

Walter Parker, Professor of Education and Political Science, University of Washington


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Speaker Biographies

Marilyn R. Cover 

Cover develops community partnerships with business, legal communities and civic organizations to support teaching civics and law-related materials in Oregon schools. She is an authority on civics and legal education and has spoken about educational programs and teaching strategies at national conferences. 

Diana Hess

Hess leads the New Civics research initiative and a new project to develop “disciplined dialogues.” She is a leading researcher on how teachers engage their students in discussions of highly controversial political and constitutional issues, and what impact this approach to civic education has on what young people learn.

Ted McConnell

McConnell runs a coalition of more than 60 national organizations committed to improving the quality and quantity of civic learning. Previously, McConnell directed the Campaign to Promote Civic Education, a 50-state effort to revitalize and strengthen civic education. He also served as co-coordinator of the Congressional Conferences on Civic Education 2003-06. 

Walter Parker

Parker studies civic education in North America, England and Asia and leads a major study attempting to answer the question, “High quality political education: What is it and who gets it?” His books include Teaching Democracy, Educating the Democratic Mind and Social Studies Today





Collaborative Innovations3.35 MB