ERIC Identifier: ED415176
Publication Date: 1997-12-00
Author: Pinhey, Laura A.
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse for
Social Studies/Social Science Education Bloomington IN.
Internet Resources for Civic Educators. ERIC Digest.
The Internet, with its unique capabilities for instantaneous global
communication, is rapidly becoming a valuable resource for civic educators, both
those involved in K-12 citizenship education and those involved in international
civic education for democracy. For K-12 teachers, the Internet is a source of
classroom tools and resources such as curriculum guides and lesson plans; the
full text of the United States Constitution and other pertinent documents as
well as those of other nations; and numerous examples of grassroots civic
participation in progress in the United States and other established, authentic
constitutional democracies, and in fledgling democracies such as those of
On the international level, numerous government, non-government, academic,
private, and grassroots cooperative projects on civic education for democracy
are uniting people from all over the world; the Internet enhances and furthers
these projects' goals by fostering long-distance communication among project
participants and expanding opportunities and resources for topics and activities
ranging from comparative study and curriculum planning to grantseeking and
networking with other civic educators. The full text of government documents,
conference proceedings, seminar and workshop schedules, listservs, websites of
grassroots civic organizations, national election results, requests for
proposals, on-line databases and library catalogs, photographs, and video and
audio files are just a few of the resources available on the Internet for
research, networking, or curriculum development by civic educators.
The following list is an annotated guide to some of the many websites useful
to civic educators.
Note: The author has selected these sites because of their potential utility
for civic educators; however, she neither endorses all the content of the
Internet resources on this list or the beliefs of the organizations sponsoring
them, nor does she guarantee the stability of the sites or the accuracy of the
information provided on them.
The website of AskERIC, an Internet-based question-and-answer service for
teachers, librarians, counselors, administrators, parents, and others throughout
the world, features a lesson plan collection which includes the full text of
over 50 K-12 lesson plans on civics and government.
* Center for Civic Education (CCE)
This website offers information on CCE and its many civic education programs
such as "We the People ...," its publications, articles and papers on civic
education, research and evaluation, curricular materials, civics frameworks and
standards, and sample lesson plans from CCE books.
* Civic Practices Network (CPN)
CPN describes itself as "a collaborative and nonpartisan project bringing
together a diverse array of organizations and perspectives within the new
citizenship movement." The CPN website features case studies, essays, manuals,
syllabi, and information about techniques and training in civic participation
for public problem solving.
The mainstay of this site, published by CIVITAS, an international,
non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting civic education, is a
monthly journal of articles about the current state of democracy and civic
education, reviews, and reports, all written by civic educators. A civic
education resource library features on- and off-site links to historical
documents, lesson plans, syllabi, bibliographies, research, journals,
newsletters, and other materials. Also featured is a directory of civic
education organizations around the world, a calendar of civic education events,
and news about CIVITAS activities.
* Close Up Foundation
The Close Up Foundation aims to teach "responsible participation in the
democratic process through civic education programs and publications on
government and citizenship." Their website offers information about Close Up's
educational books, videos, games, and simulations; its travel programs and
service learning programs for K-12 students and older Americans; the K-12 "Close
Up Connections" program; and "Close Up on C-SPAN," a weekly public affairs/news
program broadcast on C-SPAN.
* Constitution Society
Explores rights, powers, and duties; abuses and usurpations; jurisdiction and
due process; and electoral process. Also provides information and additional
links on citizen action; organizations; events; commentary; resources; United
States founding documents; the concept of unity and federalism; constitutional
defense; legal and political reform; public education; publications; people;
references; and images.
* Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF)
The website of this community-based organization dedicated to educating young
people for civic participation features an index and catalog to its
publications, which include K-12 curriculum on civic participation, service
learning, government, law-related education, and mock trials and simulations.
Includes information about CRF teacher workshops and other programs.
* C-SPAN Online
Not just up-to-the-minute news on activities in Congress, but information on
and materials for using C-SPAN in the classroom.
The website of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) offers the
Democracy Grants Database, the catalog of NED's Democracy Resource Center,
information about JOURNAL OF DEMOCRACY and other NED publications, and
instructions for subscribing to the electronic newsletter "DemocracyNews."
* Elections Around the World
* Parliaments Around the World
Both websites are databases containing basic political data and links to
election and parliament information worldwide. Monthly "Info on Elections Around
the World" newsletter available via e-mail.
* Electronic Model Congress
This simulation, under development since 1994, teaches students "about
citizenship in a democratic society and about participation in the legislative
processes" in order to develop civics literacy, political involvement, and
leadership and telecomputing skills. The website describes the project and how
schools can participate.
* Government Information Exchange
The one-stop comprehensive site for U.S.A. federal government information
includes a Federal Directory, the Federal Yellow Pages, and the Federal
Information Center, as well as information on federal employees and
foreign/international, state, and local governments.
* International Constitutional Law
Features the full text of constitutional documents and country information in
English for nearly 200 nations. Also links to constitutional courts, information
about non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the Model Constitutional Code
* THOMAS: Legislative Information on the Internet
"In the spirit of Thomas Jefferson," this site is a service of the U.S.
Congress through its library. The site includes: 105th Congress (House and
Senate Members), Congress This Week (House and Senate Floor Activities), Bills,
Laws, CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, House and Senate Committee Information, Historical
Documents, The Legislative Process, and U.S. Government Internet Resources.
REFERENCES AND ERIC RESOURCES
The following list of
resources includes references used to prepare this Digest. The items followed by
an ED number are available in microfiche and/or paper copies from the ERIC
Document Reproduction Service (EDRS). For information about prices, contact
EDRS, 7420 Fullerton Road, Suite 110, Springfield, Virginia 22153-2852;
telephone numbers are (703) 440-1400 and (800) 443-3742. Entries followed by an
EJ number, annotated monthly in CURRENT INDEX TO JOURNALS IN EDUCATION (CIJE),
are not available through EDRS. However, they can be located in the journal
section of most larger libraries by using the information provided or requested
through Interlibrary Loan.
Brandsberg, Jennifer. "Webbing It." UPDATE ON LAW-RELATED EDUCATION 20 (Fall
1996): 14. EJ 531 621.
Corrado, Anthony. "Elections in Cyberspace." UPDATE ON LAW-RELATED EDUCATION
20 (Fall 1996): 10-13. EJ 531 620.
Lindroth, Linda K. "Focus on the Presidency." TEACHING PRE K-8 27 (October
1996): 66-69. EJ 531 274.
Martorella, Peter H., ed. INTERACTIVE TECHNOLOGIES AND THE SOCIAL STUDIES.
EMERGING ISSUES AND APPLICATIONS. Albany, NY: State University of New York
Press, 1997. ED 406 302.
Risinger, C. Frederick. "Citizenship Education on the World Wide Web." SOCIAL
EDUCATION 61 (April-May 1997): 223-224. EJ 549 852. ASSIGNED.
Schwartz, Edward. NETACTIVISM: HOW CITIZENS USE THE INTERNET. Sebastapol, CA:
Songline Studios, Inc., 1996. ED 403 207.