Report Explores Civic Education in Massachusetts
Researchers from BU Wheelock and Tufts examined educator awareness and district implementation of state framework
Ariel Tichnor-Wagner, lecturer of educational leadership & policy studies at BU Wheelock, has joined with researchers from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life to report on the current state of civic education in Massachusetts.
“The State of Civic Education in Massachusetts: A Report Prepared for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education,” was released on Tuesday. Written by Tichnor-Wagner and CIRCLE colleagues Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg and Noorya Hayat, the report responds to the state’s landmark 2018 History and Social Sciences Framework, which emphasizes civics from PreK through grade 12.
Funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the report examines awareness and understanding among educators and school and district leaders; implementation within districts; and variations in civics policy knowledge and framework implementation that may result from educators’ geographic location, context, and types of students they serve.
The authors surveyed over 500 educators across Massachusetts. They found that while most educators are committed to integrating the 2018 HSS framework, many need additional support, especially at the elementary level.
In response to their findings, they recommend a continued prioritization of the equitable implementation of the framework; additional investment in professional development and resources, particularly for elementary school teachers and student-led civics projects; and the creation of an accountability framework for implementation.
“This report shows how important it is for civics to be a focus of our schools. Policymakers, educators, and professional development providers can use these findings to target valuable resources toward areas of teaching civics that need the greatest improvement,” says Tichnor-Wagner.