Civics Essay

This essay has a total of 565 words and 4 pages.


What is Civnet?

Civnet is a website of Civitas International for civic education practitioners (teachers,
teacher trainers, curriculum designers), as well as scholars, policymakers, civic-minded
journalists, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) promoting civic education all over
the world.


Any healthy, fully functioning democracy requires a political culture composed of active
participants who understand what it means to be democratic citizens. Though there may be
free and fair elections in new and emerging democracies, there might not yet exist a
democratic culture; i.e., people may be unaccustomed to voting, running for elective
office, understanding how their government works, seeking out different sources of
information to make informed choices, forming advocacy and public-interest groups to
influence political outcomes in a consensus-building, non-coercive political system, and
creating voluntary organizations to meet societal needs not met by government or the
commercial sector. "Civil society" may be thought of as the third sector, and a foundation
on which free, non-coercive, democratic polities must rest.

Moreover, well-established democracies often witness increased apathy, atomization, and a
dilution in citizen participation and civic behavior, as civic values are not properly
reinforced and are allowed to go stale.

Therefore, civic education at the pre-collegiate and collegiate levels is vital both to
newer and older democracies, to ensure that future generations of citizens understand the
values, mechanisms, and skills necessary to develop and maintain a democratic political

Accordingly, an international coalition of concerned academics and representatives of
non-governmental and governmental organizations formed Civitas International association
and helped establish Civnet to address these needs by raising the profile of civic
education, promoting civic education on the agendas of government policymakers throughout
the world, enriching the debate on teaching methodology, establishing teacher-training
programs, creating and distributing civics lesson plans, syllabi, curricula, text books,
and teaching materials, and enabling civic education practitioners to network and share
information, ideas, and resources.

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