Through the efforts of four teams based in three different cities, the Educating for Participatory Politics (EPP) project is exploring the transformations that accompany the digital age, and investigating the opportunities for educators in preparing young people to participate in civic and political life. Preparing youth for democracy in the digital age requires a new approach. Web 2.0 tools and digital media have become central to civic and political life, and digital media literacy has become an essential civic competency. Advances in digital technology have brought about rapid changes in how we access and share information, communicate and build social networks, and express points of view.
However, we lack sufficient models of civic education that respond to this changing landscape. Studies from the YPP Network highlight many ways the changing landscape of public life create new opportunities and considerations for youth as they think about their roles and responsibilities as community members. For example, they need supports to help find and assess the credibility of information and to consider how to circulate and produce content that can reach a sizable audience and have impact. Therefore, we need models of civic education that build on youth enthusiasm for digital tools and networked life, and support them to use these tools effectively for civic purposes. If we want young people to be engaged and effective civic actors, then all youth need to be provided with civic learning environments that are connected and participatory, and all youth need to engage in practices that offer a range of civic learning opportunities enabled by new media. The EPP teams will draw on their work in the field with educators and youth to develop a set of design principles and core practices that articulate a new vision for civic education 2.0. Teams will also create, remix, pilot, and then share model educational resources that speak promote young people’s capacity to engage in civic and political life in the digital age.
- Chicago - Black Youth Project, McCormick Foundation Civics Program, and Chicago Public Schools Service Learning Initiative
- Chicago - Good Participation Project and Facing History and Ourselves
- Los Angeles - Media, Activism & Participatory Politics Project and USC School for Cinematic Arts
- Oakland - Educating for Democracy in the Digital Age, Oakland Unified School District, and National Writing Project
Educating for Participatory Politics (EPP)