Partnerships 

We are proud and honored to have strong partnerships throughout Indiana and the U.S.

CECL's partnership with the Indiana Bar Foundation‘s emphasizes our shared commitment to advancing civic education through innovative and impactful programs. Their support gives CECL the capacity to provide a platform where educators, students, and the community can explore the vital role of civic engagement in a democratic society. The Foundation's involvement aligns with our aim to promote the ‘We The People’ program, an educational initiative that aligns perfectly with our Mission. The ‘We The People: The Citizen and the Constitution’ program, supported by the Foundation is a cornerstone in Indiana’s efforts to enhance civic education. This instructional program, targeted at students from elementary through high school, is designed to deepen students’ understanding of American constitutional democracy. By engaging with the history and principles of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, students learn to appreciate the relevance of these documents in contemporary society. The program’s inclusion in the symposium highlights the importance of constitutional literacy as a key component of civic education.

CECL is honored to partner with the Indiana University's Center on Representative Government whose contribution is invaluable in supporting our mission to promote informed and engaged citizenship. Through our partnership, the Center brings to the fore its wealth of experience in civic education, offering participants a unique opportunity to engage with resources and programs proven to enhance civic understanding and participation. The Center’s role extends beyond financial support, offering content expertise and resources that enrich the symposium’s offerings, particularly in fostering discussions around effective civic education and participation strategies.

We are thrilled to have a unique and ongoing collaboration with the Remnant Trust, a Public Educational Foundation committed to the stewardship of humanity’s most defining texts on individual liberty and human dignity. This partnership underscores a shared commitment to enriching civic understanding and dialogue at a time when fostering a cohesive society has never been more critical. The Remnant Trust, will co-sponsor the symposium, bringing to life the symposium’s central theme of education, dialogue, and deliberation in our democracy. The Remnant Trust will present original copies of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution, along with other key foundational U.S. texts and documents. These artifacts not only embody the essence of American democracy but also serve as tangible links to our collective past, offering a profound context for the discussions and explorations set to unfold during the symposium.




Projects

 
 
CREATE

 

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.

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.

Learn more about CREATE HERE

 

 

Third Way Civics (3WC)

The future of American democracy largely depends on a higher-education sector that fosters civic learning and agency—the capacities to appreciate and contribute to an open and flourishing commons. This site stems from a project designed to foster an innovative, multi-site civic-learning pilot funded by the Teagle Foundation. Our “Third Way Civics” (3WCs) approach seeks to transcend the “civics wars” that impede investment in undergraduate civic learning, demonstrating the complementarity of traditional and progressive approaches by combining rigorous historical study with situational practice and application of civic skills.

Our project is not just a course in civic learning but an experiment in the civic reconstruction of higher education. Thus, our purpose it not to promote adoption of our particular syllabus, but rather to catalyze experiments in values-based, non-polarizing civic learning in as many higher-education settings as possible while providing at least one workable (and adaptable) model with which to start. We frankly assert that building a more just, inclusive, and resilient commonwealth is a task both obligatory and profitable for every citizen and institution, especially those with influence over young minds.

Observers in many fields and of many minds agree that the United States faces a civic crisis, and that higher education can play a critical role in addressing it. Pertinent to that role is a widely recognized need for a renaissance of civic learning among the nation’s growing population of undergraduates. Yet significant disagreement exists over what that renaissance must entail, and indeed over what “civics” means—a situation made acute by limited resources and already crammed curricula. Some call for a focus on traditional civics content: developing knowledge of the structures and processes of government, familiarity with foundational texts like the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and exposure to great works of American political and social philosophy. Others call for a focus on civic skills and dispositions: fostering students’ capacities and penchants for self-criticism, collaborative inquiry, empathetic reasoning, and work across differences for public purposes. We think the times call for an alternative approach, drawing on the best ideas from both sides of the civics debate: a “Third Way Civics” curriculum providing information and skills to help undergraduates live lives of moral integrity and public purpose in our pluralistic society. The civic crisis threatens liberal education, undermining trust and investment in the public and civic missions of our colleges and universities. But it also serves as an opportunity—a chance for faculty and students to rediscover, reassert, and realize the value, to their lives and those of their fellow citizens, of the Teagle commitment to “open-minded engagement with the most challenging ideas of past and present.