Wheelock event hosts leaders to discuss how they’re ‘reimagining’ youth civic education

Chloe McKim Jepsen:

The panel hosted speakers from policy, education, human development and leadership backgrounds.

At the panel, Ariel Tichnor-Wagner, the program director of educational policy studies, and Dean Emeritus Hardin Coleman of Wheelock presented their research findings on civic education in the context of education reform.

In an interview, Coleman said historically, discussing civic education has been neglected in urban school curriculums.

“Over the past 40 years of education reform, there’s been this huge focus on literacy and numeracy and now science,” Coleman said, “and a lot of very important things have been pushed to the side in the curriculum: social studies, civics education, arts and other topics, particularly in urban settings.”

From a policy perspective, Reuben Henriques, a history and social science content lead of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and event panelist, said in an interview it is important to discuss civic education across different fields of study.

“I think one of the themes that came up in that panel that is so powerful is just the importance of cross-sector collaboration around civic education,” Henriques said, “equity and civics more specifically.”

He said in an interview his work for the state department involves both guiding instruction and holding schools accountable. He said there has been a recent effort to emphasize civic education.