Educating for American Democracy K-12 Student Design Challenge Contest

Educating for American Democracy
K-12 Student Design Challenge Contest
Educating for American Democracy K-12 Student Design Challenge Contest

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Some of the best ideas our students generate come from the creativity and innovation that is spurred when they are tasked with finding solutions to real problems or complex questions. Their critical-thinking, collaboration, and creativity in this work is often astounding and uplifting. It should be captured and illustrated for the others to see and reflect upon.

That is why we have created the Educating for American Democracy K-12 Student Design Challenge Contest.

The Design Challenge Prompt: As part of the Roadmap to Educating for American Democracy, there are Five Design Challenges that will require students and educators to grapple with complex questions in civics and history—those that most would agree do not have a clear or right answer. While deep classroom conversations on the Five Design Challenges included in the Roadmap will require scaffolding and the support of carefully chosen content and instruction, we think students will have ideas or personal experiences that speak to these Design Challenges and want to offer them the ability to create original artwork to share their ideas for a chance to win a cash prize and have their original artwork featured on the Educating for American Democracy website.

In order to make the Design Challenges accessible to K-12 students, we’ve adapted the language to be student-friendly.

  • Design Challenge 1: Helping Students Participate
  • Design Challenge 2: America’s Shared Story
  • Design Challenge 3: Thinking About Compromise
  • Design Challenge 4: Honest Patriotism
  • Design Challenge 5: Balancing Time & Theme

You can download the Design Challenges Student Guide to share with students and view the Roadmap Design Challenges here. Be sure to review the complete contest rules and eligibility requirements set forth below (the “Participation Terms”) before submitting student artwork.

Participation Terms

Awards

First Place: $350

Second Place: $100

Third Place: $50

iCivics, Inc. (“iCivics”) will award the following cash prizes for each of the five Design Challenges and within each of the two grade bands (Kindergarten through 5th grade, 6th grade through 12th grade): One first place winner will be awarded $350, one second place winner will be awarded $100, and one third place winner will be awarded $50. Prizes will be sent to all winners by July 31, 2021. All federal, state, and local tax liabilities are the sole responsibility of the winners.

Who May Enter

Current students enrolled in Kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to submit their original artwork.

How to Enter

The contest is now closed. Thank you to everyone who entered. Winners will be announced in July.

  1. Create
    • Artists create a two dimensional original artwork to represent one (1) Design Challenge. An artist may submit up to one (1) entry for each Design Challenge. Two dimensional artwork includes painting, drawing, mixed media, computer graphics, collages, and photography.
  2. Write
    • Write a brief description of the artwork you have created and how it represents one of the Design Challenges.
  3. Submit
    • Upload your best artwork as a JPEG or PNG file with minimum specs of 1600 px wide and 800 px tall.
    • Please Note: Parent or guardian consent is required in order for students under the age of 18 to enter the Educating for American Democracy K-12 Student Design Challenge Contest. Students under the age of 18 will need to provide a parent or guardian name and email address for submission.

Are you a teacher? Download the Design Challenges Student Guide to share with students.

Contest Timeline

March 10, 2021
Educating for American Democracy K-12 Student Design Challenge Contest opens for entries.

May 31, 2021
Deadline for submitting a piece of artwork into the competition.

June 1, 2021 – June 25, 2021
Judges review and score artwork.

June 28, 2021
Contest winners are notified.

July 16, 2021
Contest winners are announced.

How will your artwork be judged?

Student entries will be blindly judged by top leaders in the field of history and civic research and education. The artwork submissions will be divided and reviewed across two grade bands: Grades K-5 and Grades 6-12.

Judges will be looking for original artwork that exemplifies the core philosophy of incorporating the Design Challenges within the Educating for American Democracy Project:

  • Originality and Creativity
    Work that presents a unique concept, design, or execution developed exclusively by a student.
  • Artistic Quality (or Clarity)
    Work that allows a viewer to clearly understand the intent of the artistic design.
  • Expression of the Educating for American Democracy Design Challenge Concepts
    Work that connects and captures the tensions represented in the Design Challenges.

What is an original artwork?

An original artwork is one that is unique and different from what other individuals have created. It represents your individual thinking and interpretation of the Design Challenge and does not copy someone else’s original work. If your artwork incorporates another artist’s materials, such as a collage, you must transform the pre-existing work in a way that adds value and gives a new meaning to the piece. For example, changing the medium (e.g., photography to paint) or cropping or resizing an image does NOT make the work transformative.

How will your artwork be used?

Winning artworks may be used in a variety of ways by iCivics, including in Educating for American Democracy published resources and on the iCivics and Educating for American Democracy website. By submitting your artwork to the Educating for American Democracy K-12 Student Design Challenge Contest, you hereby irrevocably grant iCivics perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, transferable, non-exclusive, sublicensable permission to use, copy, modify, publish, distribute, exhibit, add to and create derivative works from the artwork you submit for any purpose.

Who are the judges?

Our amazing judges, who are top leaders in their field of history and civics, will include:

  • Valencia Abbott, History Social Studies Educator, Rockingham Early College High School – North Carolina
  • Tyron Bey, Civics and Social Studies Educator, Prince George’s County Public Schools – Maryland
  • Amanda Cobb-Greetham, Professor, Native American Studies Department, University of Oklahoma
  • Shawn P. Healy, Senior Director of State Policy and Advocacy, iCivics
  • Michelle M. Herczog, Coordinator III, History-Social Science, Los Angeles County Office of Education – California
  • Jane Kamensky, Jonathan Trumbull Professor of American History, Harvard University and Pforzheimer Foundation Director, Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Harvard Radcliffe Institute
  • Peter Levine, Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Jonathan M. Tisch College at Tufts University
  • Sonia Mathew, Program Officer, Democracy Program, Robert R. McCormick Foundation
  • Adam Seagrave, Associate Professor and Associate Director, School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University
  • Tammy Waller, Director of K-12 Social Studies and World Languages, Arizona Department of Education

Artwork Ownership and License Grant

Students who submit artworks to the Educating for American Democracy K-12 Student Design Challenge Contest will retain any intellectual property rights they have in their artworks, including copyright. This means, for example, you can submit the same artwork you submit to us to other scholarship programs or contests, keep the work in your portfolio, and license it to others for non-exclusive publication.

To run the Educating for American Democracy K-12 Student Design Challenge Contest, iCivics needs to be able to do certain things with the artworks submitted by students, such as copying, editing, and displaying them to process and judge submissions, award prizes, publicize winning entries and to otherwise further iCivics’ mission to ensure every student received a high quality civic education. To do these things, we need permission from you. By submitting your artwork to iCivics for the Educating for American Democracy K-12 Student Design Challenge Contest, you hereby irrevocably grant iCivics a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, transferable, non-exclusive right and license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, modify, publish, publicly perform, distribute, exhibit, add to and create derivative works from the artwork(s) you submit to iCivics for any purpose and in any media, including online.

By submitting your artwork to iCivics for the Educating for American Democracy K-12 Student Design Challenge Contest, you, or if you are a student under the age of 18, your parent or guardian, also hereby irrevocably and perpetually grant iCivics permission to take and use photographs, videos and recordings of you and to use your name, photograph or other image of you, likeness, voice, biographical information, and live and taped interviews or appearances given or made by you (your “Likeness”) for internal and external operational purposes of iCivics, including in connection with the Educating for American Democracy K-12 Student Design Challenge Contest and promotion of iCivics.

We will use commercially reasonable efforts to give you credit when we use your artwork submissions or Likeness in a public way, unless there is a practical reason why we cannot do so, such as formatting, or if the work is being used in a medium where no individual credits are given. Also, if we mistakenly do not give you credit in any given situation, if you let us know, we will use commercially reasonable efforts to correct that for similar uses in the future.

You hereby acknowledge and agree that you will not be compensated for your artwork submissions or for our use of your artwork submissions or Likeness, except for any cash award you may be granted if your artwork is selected as a winner of the Educating for American Democracy K-12 Student Design Challenge Contest.

We will not license your artwork or Likeness to third parties to publish under their name for their own commercial gain.

You hereby irrevocably and perpetually release iCivics from any and all claims, costs, liabilities and actions of any nature that may arise from our use of your artwork submissions or Likeness, including, without limitation any claims of copyright, libel, slander, violation of privacy or similar rights that you may have.

Materials Return

If your artwork is selected as a winner of the Educating for American Democracy K-12 Student Design Challenge Contest, iCivics may require you to send to iCivics the original physical artwork. If applicable, the work may be used in exhibitions throughout the country, so iCivics will not be able to give you access to the original work or return the original work to you. If we ask you to provide the original artwork for exhibition and you do not, we may choose, in our sole discretion, to revoke (that is, take back or cancel) your cash award.

ICIVICS, ANY SPONSORS OF THE EDUCATING FOR AMERICAN DEMOCRACY K- 12 STUDENT DESIGN CHALLENGE CONTEST, OR ANY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, OR REPRESENTATIVES SHALL NOT HAVE ANY OBLIGATION OR LIABILITY WHATSOEVER FOR ANY LOSS OR NON-DELIVERY OF, OR DAMAGE TO, THE ORIGINAL ARTWORK THAT IS NOT CAUSED DIRECTLY BY SUCH PERSON’S OR ENTITY’S WILLFUL OR RECKLESS MISCONDUCT.

Intellectual Property Infringement

All work submitted to the Educating for American Democracy K-12 Student Design Challenge Contest must be original, meaning you must have created the work based on your own ideas. By submitting your artworks to iCivics, you represent and warrant that the artworks you are submitting are original works created by you and that such artworks were not copied from any other person, business, school, organization or entity and that, to your knowledge, the artworks you are submitting do not infringe upon, misappropriate or otherwise violate any intellectual property or proprietary rights of any third party. Any work that iCivics, in its sole discretion, determines does or may infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate any third party’s intellectual property rights will be disqualified from the Educating for American Democracy K-12 Student Design Challenge Contest. You hereby acknowledge that you, and not iCivics, are solely responsible for obtaining any necessary consents or releases with respect to any people, places, property or materials depicted in the artworks you submit.

You hereby agree to indemnify and hold harmless iCivics and its officers, directors, employees and representatives from and against any and all third-party claims, demands, liabilities, costs and expenses, including reasonable outside counsel fees and legal disbursements arising out of or in connection with any claim, lawsuit or proceeding alleging that the artworks you submit to iCivics infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate the intellectual property or any other rights of any third party.

Violations

iCivics may, in its sole discretion, revoke a student’s participation in the Educating for American Democracy K-12 Student Design Challenge Contest and take back or cancel any awards granted by iCivics if we determine that a submission does not comply with the Participation Terms or any other applicable iCivics policies (for example, any policies that apply to participants from certain regions) or that a participant has violated the Participation Terms or other iCivics applicable policies in any other way. Any participant whose award is taken back or cancelled may not identify himself or herself as the recipient of an award from iCivics.

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We the People

This theme explores the idea of “the people” as a political concept–not just a group of people who share a landscape but a group of people who share political ideals and institutions.

Read more about the theme in:

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Institutional & Social Transformation

This theme explores how social arrangements and conflicts have combined with political institutions to shape American life from the earliest colonial period to the present, investigates which moments of change have most defined the country, and builds understanding of how American political institutions and society changes.

Read more about the theme in:

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Contemporary Debates & Possibilities

This theme explores the contemporary terrain of civic participation and civic agency, investigating how historical narratives shape current political arguments, how values and information shape policy arguments, and how the American people continues to renew or remake itself in pursuit of fulfillment of the promise of constitutional democracy.

Read more about the theme in:

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Civic Participation

This theme explores the relationship between self-government and civic participation, drawing on the discipline of history to explore how citizens’ active engagement has mattered for American society and on the discipline of civics to explore the principles, values, habits, and skills that support productive engagement in a healthy, resilient constitutional democracy. This theme focuses attention on the overarching goal of engaging young people as civic participants and preparing them to assume that role successfully.

Read more about the theme in:

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Our Changing landscapes

This theme begins from the recognition that American civic experience is tied to a particular place, and explores the history of how the United States has come to develop the physical and geographical shape it has, the complex experiences of harm and benefit which that history has delivered to different portions of the American population, and the civics questions of how political communities form in the first place, become connected to specific places, and develop membership rules. The theme also takes up the question of our contemporary responsibility to the natural world.

Read more about the theme in:

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A New Government & Constitution

This theme explores the institutional history of the United States as well as the theoretical underpinnings of constitutional design.

Read more about the theme in:

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A People in the World

This theme explores the place of the U.S. and the American people in a global context, investigating key historical events in international affairs,and building understanding of the principles, values, and laws at stake in debates about America’s role in the world.

Read more about the theme in:

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The Seven Themes

The Seven Themes provide the organizational  framework for the Roadmap. They map out the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that students should be able to explore in order to be engaged in informed, authentic, and healthy civic participation. Importantly, they are neither standards nor curriculum, but rather a starting point for the design of standards, curricula, resources, and lessons. 

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Driving questions provide a glimpse into the types of inquiries that teachers can write and develop in support of in-depth civic learning. Think of them as a  starting point in your curricular design.

Learn more about inquiry-based learning in  the Pedagogy Companion.

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Sample guiding questions are designed to foster classroom discussion, and can be starting points for one or multiple lessons. It is important to note that the sample guiding questions provided in the Roadmap are NOT an exhaustive list of questions. There are many other great topics and questions that can be explored.

Learn more about inquiry-based learning in the Pedagogy Companion.

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The Seven Themes

The Seven Themes provide the organizational  framework for the Roadmap. They map out the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that students should be able to explore in order to be engaged in informed, authentic, and healthy civic participation. Importantly, they are neither standards nor curriculum, but rather a starting point for the design of standards, curricula, resources, and lessons. 

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The Five Design Challenges

America’s constitutional politics are rife with tensions and complexities. Our Design Challenges, which are arranged alongside our Themes, identify and clarify the most significant tensions that writers of standards, curricula, texts, lessons, and assessments will grapple with. In proactively recognizing and acknowledging these challenges, educators will help students better understand the complicated issues that arise in American history and civics.

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Motivating Agency, Sustaining the Republic

  • How can we help students understand the full context for their roles as civic participants without creating paralysis or a sense of the insignificance of their own agency in relation to the magnitude of our society, the globe, and shared challenges?
  • How can we help students become engaged citizens who also sustain civil disagreement, civic friendship, and thus American constitutional democracy?
  • How can we help students pursue civic action that is authentic, responsible, and informed?
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America’s Plural Yet Shared Story

  • How can we integrate the perspectives of Americans from all different backgrounds when narrating a history of the U.S. and explicating the content of the philosophical foundations of American constitutional democracy?
  • How can we do so consistently across all historical periods and conceptual content?
  • How can this more plural and more complete story of our history and foundations also be a common story, the shared inheritance of all Americans?
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Simultaneously Celebrating & Critiquing Compromise

  • How do we simultaneously teach the value and the danger of compromise for a free, diverse, and self-governing people?
  • How do we help students make sense of the paradox that Americans continuously disagree about the ideal shape of self-government but also agree to preserve shared institutions?
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Civic Honesty, Reflective Patriotism

  • How can we offer an account of U.S. constitutional democracy that is simultaneously honest about the wrongs of the past without falling into cynicism, and appreciative of the founding of the United States without tipping into adulation?
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Balancing the Concrete & the Abstract

  • How can we support instructors in helping students move between concrete, narrative, and chronological learning and thematic and abstract or conceptual learning?
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Each theme is supported by key concepts that map out the knowledge, skills, and dispositions students should be able to explore in order to be engaged in informed, authentic, and healthy civic participation. They are vertically spiraled and developed to apply to K—5 and 6—12. Importantly, they are not standards, but rather offer a vision for the integration of history and civics throughout grades K—12.

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Helping Students Participate

  • How can I learn to understand my role as a citizen even if I’m not old enough to take part in government? How can I get excited to solve challenges that seem too big to fix?
  • How can I learn how to work together with people whose opinions are different from my own?
  • How can I be inspired to want to take civic actions on my own?
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America’s Shared Story

  • How can I learn about the role of my culture and other cultures in American history?
  • How can I see that America’s story is shared by all?
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Thinking About Compromise

  • How can teachers teach the good and bad sides of compromise?
  • How can I make sense of Americans who believe in one government but disagree about what it should do?
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Honest Patriotism

  • How can I learn an honest story about America that admits failure and celebrates praise?
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Balancing Time & Theme

  • How can teachers help me connect historical events over time and themes?
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The Six Pedagogical Principles

 EAD teacher draws on six pedagogical principles that are connected sequentially.

Six Core Pedagogical Principles are part of our Pedagogy Companion. The Pedagogical Principles are designed to focus educators’ effort on techniques that best support the learning and development of student agency required of history and civic education.

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This resource aligns with the core pedagogical principle of:

EAD teachers commit to learn about and teach full and multifaceted historical and civic narratives. They appreciate student diversity and assume all students’ capacity for learning complex and rigorous content. EAD teachers focus on inclusion and equity in both content and approach as they spiral instruction across grade bands, increasing complexity and depth about relevant history and contemporary issues.

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This resource aligns with the core pedagogical principle of:

Growth Mindset and Capacity Building

EAD teachers have a growth mindset for themselves and their students, meaning that they engage in continuous self-reflection and cultivate self-knowledge. They learn and adopt content as well as practices that help all learners of diverse backgrounds reach excellence. EAD teachers need continuous and rigorous professional development (PD) and access to professional learning communities (PLCs) that offer peer support and mentoring opportunities, especially about content, pedagogical approaches, and instruction-embedded assessments.

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This resource aligns with the core pedagogical principle of:

Building an EAD-Ready Classroom and School

EAD teachers cultivate and sustain a learning environment by partnering with administrators, students, and families to conduct deep inquiry about the multifaceted stories of American constitutional democracy. They set expectations that all students know they belong and contribute to the classroom community. Students establish ownership and responsibility for their learning through mutual respect and an inclusive culture that enables students to engage courageously in rigorous discussion.

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This resource aligns with the core pedagogical principle of:

Inquiry as the Primary Mode for Learning

EAD teachers not only use the EAD Roadmap inquiry prompts as entry points to teaching full and complex content, but also cultivate students’ capacity to develop their own deep and critical inquiries about American history, civic life, and their identities and communities. They embrace these rigorous inquiries as a way to advance students’ historical and civic knowledge, and to connect that knowledge to themselves and their communities. They also help students cultivate empathy across differences and inquisitiveness to ask difficult questions, which are core to historical understanding and constructive civic participation.

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This resource aligns with the core pedagogical principle of:

Practice of Constitutional Democracy and Student Agency

EAD teachers use their content knowledge and classroom leadership to model our constitutional principle of “We the People” through democratic practices and promoting civic responsibilities, civil rights, and civic friendship in their classrooms. EAD teachers deepen students’ grasp of content and concepts by creating student opportunities to engage with real-world events and problem-solving about issues in their communities by taking informed action to create a more perfect union.

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This resource aligns with the core pedagogical principle of:

Assess, Reflect, and Improve

EAD teachers use assessments as a tool to ensure all students understand civics content and concepts and apply civics skills and agency. Students have the opportunity to reflect on their learning and give feedback to their teachers in higher-order thinking exercises that enhance as well as measure learning. EAD teachers analyze and utilize feedback and assessment for self-reflection and improving instruction.

X
This resource aligns with the core pedagogical principle of:
EAD teachers commit to learn about and teach full and multifaceted historical and civic narratives. They appreciate student diversity and assume all students’ capacity for learning complex and rigorous content. EAD teachers focus on inclusion and equity in both content and approach as they spiral instruction across grade bands, increasing complexity and depth about relevant history and contemporary issues.

X
This resource aligns with the core pedagogical principle of:

Growth Mindset and Capacity Building

EAD teachers have a growth mindset for themselves and their students, meaning that they engage in continuous self-reflection and cultivate self-knowledge. They learn and adopt content as well as practices that help all learners of diverse backgrounds reach excellence. EAD teachers need continuous and rigorous professional development (PD) and access to professional learning communities (PLCs) that offer peer support and mentoring opportunities, especially about content, pedagogical approaches, and instruction-embedded assessments.

X
This resource aligns with the core pedagogical principle of:

Building an EAD-Ready Classroom and School

EAD teachers cultivate and sustain a learning environment by partnering with administrators, students, and families to conduct deep inquiry about the multifaceted stories of American constitutional democracy. They set expectations that all students know they belong and contribute to the classroom community. Students establish ownership and responsibility for their learning through mutual respect and an inclusive culture that enables students to engage courageously in rigorous discussion.

X
This resource aligns with the core pedagogical principle of:

Inquiry as the Primary Mode for Learning

EAD teachers not only use the EAD Roadmap inquiry prompts as entry points to teaching full and complex content, but also cultivate students’ capacity to develop their own deep and critical inquiries about American history, civic life, and their identities and communities. They embrace these rigorous inquiries as a way to advance students’ historical and civic knowledge, and to connect that knowledge to themselves and their communities. They also help students cultivate empathy across differences and inquisitiveness to ask difficult questions, which are core to historical understanding and constructive civic participation.

X
This resource aligns with the core pedagogical principle of:

Practice of Constitutional Democracy and Student Agency

EAD teachers use their content knowledge and classroom leadership to model our constitutional principle of “We the People” through democratic practices and promoting civic responsibilities, civil rights, and civic friendship in their classrooms. EAD teachers deepen students’ grasp of content and concepts by creating student opportunities to engage with real-world events and problem-solving about issues in their communities by taking informed action to create a more perfect union.

X
This resource aligns with the core pedagogical principle of:

Assess, Reflect, and Improve

EAD teachers use assessments as a tool to ensure all students understand civics content and concepts and apply civics skills and agency. Students have the opportunity to reflect on their learning and give feedback to their teachers in higher-order thinking exercises that enhance as well as measure learning. EAD teachers analyze and utilize feedback and assessment for self-reflection and improving instruction.