Los Angeles County Office of Education District County of: Los Angeles Civic Learning Award of: Merit
Civic Learning Description
Research is a recurring theme at International Polytechnic High School (I-Poly). They offer students the chance to participate in a two month long mock assembly to experience and simulate a part of the process of how a bill becomes law. Students involved in this mock assembly research no less than 12 different items on their proposed bill. I-Poly also mandates a culminating activity for I-Poly seniors in the form of a senior project. Seniors research a personally chosen topic, conduct face-to-face interviews, and work with professionals in their topic field to turn their project into something that can be applied outside of schools. The project includes at least four formal interviews and 60 hours of work. I-Poly also offers a course where its students serve on a committee each semester to help the senior class with fundraisers, activities, and events. The purpose of the course is to show students the importance of being part of an association in a democracy and doing their share.
Research-Based Civic Education Practices
This school demonstrates the following research-based best practices in civic education:
• Provide instruction in government, history, law and democracy, and avoid teaching only rote facts about dry procedures. • Discuss current local, national and international issues and events in the classroom, particularly those that young people view as important to their lives. • Conduct community service that is linked to the formal curriculum and classroom (Service-learning). • Encourage student participation in school governance. • Encourage students’ participation in simulations of democratic process and procedures such as voting, trials, legislative deliberation, and diplomacy.