The future belongs to the next generation. Today’s students will one day be responsible for the health and well-being of society. Simply put, students will be tomorrow’s caretakers of the values and institutions of their respective local communities as well as the entire nation.
Civic responsibility not only has a profound impact on individual students but on the district and their community. National and regional education leaders recognize these benefits and increase the importance of civic responsibility in our schools.
The scholars of today will need to know how to apply theoretical concepts developed in the classroom, including practical everyday life situations out in their neighborhoods and future workplaces. They will need to learn social skills to interact, collaborate and coordinate with others to design and implement workable and equitable solutions for challenges they will face together.
K-12 education institutions and educators can prepare their students to take on civic responsibility (also known as civic engagement) by encouraging them to participate in extracurricular and community-based activities during their school years. Here’s why!
How Students Benefit Through Civic Engagement
According to the American Association of Colleges and Universities, researchers have found a consistent and statistically significant relationship between civic engagement and academic engagement. Students who actively engage with classmates and the community tend to remain on positive academic paths and fulfilling educational pursuits. They stay in school, earn their degrees, more frequently pursue higher levels of postsecondary education, and often become future community volunteers. In addition, students will:
Learn More Academic Content
Students who participate in civic engagement tend to learn and retain more academic content taught in the classroom. By applying theoretical concepts to real-world situations, students shift from being passive knowledge receivers to active problem solvers in society.
Grow in Emotional Intelligence and Psychosocial Well-Being
Civic engagement increases students’ emotional intelligence and sense of psychosocial well-being. Students who participate in civic engagement gain valuable interpersonal skills, collaboration across diverse perspectives, and a sense of self-efficacy for positively impacting individuals, organizations, and communities.
In studies of adolescents and young adults, civic responsibility behaviors were attributed with various indicators of psychosocial well-being, including:
- Self-efficacy, hope, and optimism
- Collective efficacy and self-confidence
- Sense of meaning
- Satisfaction with one’s daily activities
Grow in Motivation to Conscientious Community Service
Students who participate in civic engagement activities during their school years are more apt to get involved in community service as adults. Research shows that students who broaden their academic experience by applying civic responsibly activities are more likely to volunteer.
- Gain Better Chances of Admission to College
According to CollegeBoard BigFuture and Jeff Brenzel, Dean of Admissions of Yale University, civic engagement will play a role in how colleges assess applicants who apply to college. Most college applications ask applicants to list their extracurricular activities. That’s because the things students do in their free time help admissions administrators see applicants in ways that grades and test scores can’t reveal.
How Districts Benefit From Civic Engagement
Civic Engagement between school districts and their communities creates a relationship that strengthens the needs of the public to become better advocates for their educational institution. Districts need to collaborate with their communities to support initiatives that will affect students and their families in the present and future. Research conducted by Diligent Insights expands on these benefits by outlining three ways school districts will benefit from civic engagement in their communities:
Increase Student Achievement, Attendance, and Retention
Districts are aligned with their communities to achieve the same goal: foster student success. As civic engagement is encouraged and supported by schools, positive outcomes occur throughout a community. A study conducted on districts showed exceptional progress in improving student achievement.
Create a Culture of Trust, Respect, and Transparency Between the Community and the District
School districts rely on their school boards to listen and interpret their community’s needs. Today, technology allows the public to attend school board meetings remotely to maintain a connection between the district and the community to promote ownership and trust. Each can utilize technology to report updates and information to the public to strengthen the district’s culture and the community at large.
Establish & Maintain Positive School Performance and Reputations
Creating consistent engagement between the school district and the community is shown to impact with short- and long-term benefits that can effect students and the district. Communities that focus on public involvement in their schools see a positive increase in their reputation.
Passport For Good
An Innovative and Comprehensive Solution to Fuel Student Engagement
With civic responsibility and engagement becoming an essential component in the next generation, it is imperative that educators and students are equipped with the tools necessary to record and measure the value of their efforts.
Passport For Good is an innovative, mobile-friendly web-based platform revolutionizing how student engagement is captured and measured within the school and community. Through an intuitive digital platform, educators and students are equipped with real-time data empowering them to make informed decisions to fuel better outcomes, an area that has long been neglected.
Passport For Good provides meaningful data by measuring and quantifying the following objectives:
✔ Student Engagement
✔ Social and Emotional Learning
✔ College, Career, and Civic Readiness
As a result, students feel more recognized and motivated to continue to do good within their school and community, and educators are empowered with meaningful data to drive better decision-making.