Palmdale School District County of: Los Angeles Civic Learning Award of: Merit
Civic Learning Description
The unique media class at Guidance Charter High School gives students the opportunity to learn about debate techniques from the campaign manager of the current mayor of Palmdale. They learn how to create effective questions for debate, ensure candidate impartiality, control the timekeeping, and keep the candidates to the issues in their allotted times. Guidance Charter also started a chapter of the Junior States of America (JSA), a student run national organization with local chapters where students learn about the free exchange of ideas organized through student debates, thought talks, mock trials, and simulations. Finally, Guidance Charter High offers a US Government class that is project-based and provides instruction in government, history, law, and democracy
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)
Offer extracurricular activities that provide opportunities for young people to get involved in their schools or communities.
Encourage student participation in school governance.
Encourage students’ participation in simulations of democratic process and procedures such as voting, trials, legislative deliberation, and diplomacy.