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(1,584 posts)
Fri Nov 30, 2018, 10:55 AM Nov 2018

Isn't obvious now that we need to do a much better job of educating our citizens and their children

about government, economics, civics, sociology, environmental science?

And ignorant populace is dangerous to democracy or any other form of government. That is why we are where we are right now with little hope of changing. Trump is the biggest miseducation teacher out there and his students don't have to THINK OR RESEARCH anything. They just simply believe everything he says. It is so frustrating.

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(7,467 posts)
1. Mandatory civics classes in high school should be in place.
Fri Nov 30, 2018, 11:01 AM
Nov 2018

People don't know how their own government functions. Civics classes have disappeared from high school curricula for decades, so we get indifference from millions when people like Trumpy abuse the system.


(26,497 posts)
2. Civics/Government was a required class credit for graduation, when I was in high school
Fri Nov 30, 2018, 11:05 AM
Nov 2018

As I recall, it was a Junior/Senior year class. I had no idea it was phased out as a required credit. Is it still offered as a an elective?


(12,767 posts)
4. Looking back at the kidlet's curricula, Civics/Government was taught as part of Social Sciences.
Fri Nov 30, 2018, 11:30 AM
Nov 2018

It was a one semester block in the Sophomore year (10th grade); part of the U.S. Geography/Social Sciences curricula that was to be taught that year.
She didn't do very well - it was a snoozer class for most kids as they just crammed everything they could in and taught the minimum required for the CAL SATs that year. No "let's go to the courthouse or city council and watch government in action" field trips or even cheesy films from the 1950's to entertain the students. Just a textbook, workbook, and the mock trials, voting, or whatever exercises that were in the workbook. She learned less about civics in class than we had taught her with our political discussions at home.



(26,497 posts)
6. My class hit during an election cycle
Fri Nov 30, 2018, 12:01 PM
Nov 2018

If we volunteered and worked for a campaign (and it was verified) we didn't have to take the final exam.

I worked for Don Riegle's congressional campaign. He was actually a Republican, at the time, but a VERY progressive one. It was right about that time that he left the GOP and became a Democrat. I went on to volunteer for him, again, after I left high school.


(146,413 posts)
8. It takes more than that. Since I'm a geezer, I come from
Fri Nov 30, 2018, 12:25 PM
Nov 2018

another time altogether. Civics and Government were part of classes, beginning in third grade in my public school system. Every year, we learned about something from federal, state or local government as part of our history/social studies curriculum. The information was more or less refreshed every year. In the 5th grade, I remember spending an entire semester in that part of the school day learning about the US Constitution. We read it. We studied it. We took tests on it. The next year, we studied California state government and did the same with the core of its consitution. We learned how ballot initiatives got on the ballot, as well.

I started High School in 1959. The next year the entire school year in social studies/history classes was spent on the 1960 election. We learned about the party system, party conventions, and even the caucus system used at those conventions. We learned how elections operated and the rules for registration and voting. We wrote reports on candidates. We wrote reports on political parties. We talked about issues.

That was how it worked back then. Those of us who were paying at least some attention came out of our school system with a pretty fair understanding of how it all works.

We need to go back to that focus on government. We need to understand how our government functions.


(26,497 posts)
10. The parochial school I attended didn't bother with things like social studies classes
Fri Nov 30, 2018, 12:33 PM
Nov 2018

All of my friends went to public school and had LASS (Language, Arts and Social Studies). I came to public high school kind of at a loss.


(48,455 posts)
9. Same here
Fri Nov 30, 2018, 12:27 PM
Nov 2018

In our senior year it was one semester civics and one semester political science. They were required in order to graduate.

Golden Raisin

(4,625 posts)
5. Absolutely. Civics should be restored in our schools.
Fri Nov 30, 2018, 11:32 AM
Nov 2018

It's absence has had a terrible, negative effect on the younger electorate. We had "Civics" in 8th grade and then "American Government" in senior year.


(3,063 posts)
3. I went to a Meet the Teachers Night
Fri Nov 30, 2018, 11:24 AM
Nov 2018

when my daughter was in HS taking a AP History class (around 2011).
The teacher asked if anyone of the dozen or so parents knew the 3 branches of government.
Sadly I was the only one who could answer.

Elwood P Dowd

(11,443 posts)
7. Republican voters I know can't answer simple questions such as......
Fri Nov 30, 2018, 12:16 PM
Nov 2018

How many members are there in the House of Representatives?

How many votes does it take to override a president's veto?

Who is the minority leader in the US Senate?

What is a pocket veto?

The best way to shut these idiots up when they're talking politics is to ask questions. Since most of them only know a few Fox News or Limbaugh talking points, they usually change the subject to something else to avoid being exposed.


(146,413 posts)
11. Neither can most Democratic voters, frankly.
Fri Nov 30, 2018, 12:38 PM
Nov 2018

Even on DU, a lot of people don't know the basics of government operations or law.


(1,714 posts)
12. +1
Fri Nov 30, 2018, 01:54 PM
Nov 2018

Before the prez election I heard someone say you "have to be" a lawyer to run for prez. Don't know how many people think "separation of powers" means between Dems and Republicans. They don't have a clue what "checks and balances" mean, either.

Don't know what they are teaching in high schools these days.


(35,527 posts)
13. Too many Americans use education to give their kids an edge in the job market instead of seeing it
Fri Nov 30, 2018, 01:58 PM
Nov 2018

as a vital and important feature of a vibrant and enduring Democracy. Yes, it's great that your little Josh got into Harvard, but what good is that degree when you have large swaths of uneducated to very low educated Americans who vote for assholes like Trump. Josh's Harvard degree means nothing in an authoritarian state.

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