Project Citizen is a program for youth, young adults that teaches them the process of public policy.
Public Policy: A law, regulation, or procedure enacted by a governing body that impacts the community.
Steps in Project Citizen:
- Students identify public policy issues within their community they would like to address. As a class, they need to determine which problems are of the greatest interest to the entire class. They may wish to do research on their questions over a period of time. Ideally, the class will come to consensus on their chosen topic.
- Select a problem for the class.
- Students research the issue learning the history related to the issue and perspectives of other communities and their "constituents" on the issue.
- The class develops a "portfolio" that takes the form of a poster. The poster must explain their problem, provide alternative policies, the student-selected proposed solution, and suggestions for implementation.
- Students deliver a presentation to a "public" audience.
- Students reflect on their experience.
Marcia also introduced us to the They Had a Dream, Too video (available online) and curriculum, inTime Classroom's All But My Life, and two books:
- Public Policymaking in a Democratic Society: A Guide to Civic Engagement by Larry N. Gerston
- The First Amendment in Schools by Haynes, Chaltain, Ferguson, Hudson, and Thomas