Episode 117: Civics at Home w/ Ashley Berner

In by Cindy Brandt

What are schools really teaching our kids? Are they educating them on information that is actually relevant to our world right now? Most of our schools just aren’t teaching our kids things like how to vote and make wise decisions about policies. Those topics usually aren’t even brought up. That’s why I am so excited to talk with Ashley Berner this week.

Ashley is the Director of the John Hopkins Institute for Education Policy. In this position, she helps make the connection between what happens in schools to how prepared students are to be active citizens of a democratic society. In this episode, we are discussing the role parents have in preparing our kids for that kind of conscious citizenship. Tune in to hear some amazing insights from Ashley.

Show Highlights:

  • How Ashley defines civics.
  • The 4 adult capacities of an informed citizen.
  • The benefits of watching political speeches and debates with our children and critiquing what we see.
  • Why we should explain our own views and opposing views to our children.
  • How to get your kids engaged in civics if you’re not a political family.
  • The power of explaining the rationale behind our perspectives.
  • Practical things we can do to give our kids a civics education.
  • The importance of engaging in and talking about the suffering in the world with your kids.
  • How to raise your kids to discern between facts and conspiracy theories.

Links (affiliates included):

Some resources for parents:

Parent Resource: Civics at Home.” Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy, April 22, 2020. 

In a Polarized America, What Can We Do about Civil Disagreement?” Brookings (blog), April 10, 2020. 

Partisanship and American Education.” Flypaper at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute(blog), October 15, 2020. 

An Informed Citizenry.” Johns Hopkins University: The Hub(blog), October 30, 2020. 

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