Many civic education initiatives have developed across the United States in order to help prepare students for civic engagement in school-based settings. At the same time, research shows that quality of school-based civic learning opportunities remains insufficient, inconsistent, and inequitable. In this article, we propose a framework of civic learning dispositions based upon current social studies curricular resources from C3 Teachers. Based on a thematic review of civic dispositions embedded within this C3 Framework-aligned curriculum, we offer a framework to demonstrate how civic dispositions and the application of social studies learning (i.e., civic action) can be used in curriculum design to support a reinvigorated application of social studies learning. The framework, then, provides a theoretically informed, practical heuristic for teachers, researchers and curricular designers to both better understand and subsequently support their students’ high-quality civic learning in the context of social studies teaching and learning.

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Peter M. Nelson and Avner Segall, Critical Inquiry, Conceptual Clarity, and Contextual Limits