The teaching of history is moving away from the rote memorization of textbooks and toward the development of civic skills. Illinois’ recent decision to require all students to complete a semester-long civics course brings us a step closer to measuring active citizenship. Typically harbored under the social studies umbrella, civics is now a stand-alone course. The state mandates that each civics course include service learning, controversial conversation, instruction regarding government institutions and procedures, and simulations.


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