University of Delaware

Democracy Project

Delaware teachers gather to sharpen civics teaching skills


12:47 p.m., June 18, 2014--Fourteen Delaware elementary, middle and high school teachers are participating in the 2014 University of Delaware Institute for Public Administration's Democracy Project Summer Institute.

The Democracy Project began as a response to The New Millennium Study, a national bipartisan study funded by the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) in 1999.  The study reported that “Young Americans have only a limited, vague understanding of what it means to be a citizen in a democratic society.”  It indicated that media, parents, political parties and schools all play a role in connecting young people to the democratic process. 

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“Recognizing the potential impact that schools and teachers have, The Democracy Project works with teachers to sharpen their skills for teaching civics in their classrooms,” said Ed Freel, program director and former Delaware secretary of state. 

The program runs June 16-20 and 24-26. During the first week, teachers are meeting with several officials, including Gov. Jack Markell; Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Rep. John Carney; and Secretary of State Jeff Bullock, as well as state judges, state legislators and media. The teachers will participate in field trips to Washington, D.C., Dover and Wilmington.

During the second week, the teachers will work collaboratively with Fran O’Malley, curriculum director and policy scientist in the Institute for Public Administration, in developing new lesson plans to take back to their classrooms. 

This is the 16th year of the project, which is sponsored by UD's Institute for Public Administration and the Delaware Department of State, with support from the Delaware Heritage Commission.

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