Harvard Graduate School of Education Logo

The Tools for Civic Engagement and Empowerment

It is a critical moment for our democracy. As Election 2020 approaches, we've assembled resources to support educators, families, and young people with the tools they need to learn, act, and lead.

American flag

Educating for Democracy

In an actionable half-hour webinar, HGSE's Rick Weissbourd and guests from iCivics, CIRCLE, and the We Are America project offered fresh ideas to rethink civics in school and at home, putting student voice and equity at the center.

seesaw with one end heavier than other

Teaching in Complex Times

Encouraging shared conversations about ethical dilemmas and civic controversies in the classroom.

Hands voting

Civic Engagement in 2020 and Beyond

HGSE's Eric Soto-Shed outlines strategies for teaching the 2020 election — and helping students become informed, engaged, and active members of their communities.

“We have really ceased to lay the foundation in K–12 for young people to understand democracy, be motivated to participate in it, to have the skills and tools they need to participate effectively, and as a result, enjoy participation.”

– Professor Danielle Allen, director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics
Listen to the Harvard EdCast.

Vote buttons

Get Out the Vote

Making Caring Common’s nonpartisan initiative provides young activists with the tools to lead voter mobilization projects in their communities.

seesaw with one end heavier than other

Justice in Schools: Case Studies

Meira Levinson's Justice in Schools project has case studies to help educators navigate political divides and teach controversial issues in the classroom, as well as other real-life examples of ethical, civic-oriented learning experiences — including a relevant case about teaching the 2016 election.

Shadows of people on American flag

The Immigrant Vote

On its podcast, Immigration & Democracy, the Immigration Initiative at Harvard looks at the importance of the immigrant vote in U.S. politics, how has it shaped trends historically, and what will it mean on election day.

It's All About the Message

Making Caring Common's "Get Out the Vote" series explored the messaging of political ads and how ads can mobilize voters, with veteran political strategists Mark McKinnon and Jennifer Palmieri.

Photos of students on gallery wall

What Does it Mean to Be American?

A new project, led by teacher Jessica Lander, Ed.M.’15 and her students, encourages students to explore their identities and share the stories of what makes them unique — and uniquely American.

“We’re having a harder time than usual identifying what kinds of values, beliefs, and characteristics hold us together as a nation. And even if we are able to name some shared values — democracy, equality, speech, or good government — that doesn’t mean that we have a shared understanding of what they mean. ”

– Professor Meira Levinson
Read more.


Called to Action

How a new civics curriculum from Danielle Allen and her colleagues at the Democratic Knowledge Project empowers students to become democratic participants — even in a pandemic.

Children looking at globe

Civics for the Youngest Students

The classroom as the perfect place to hone citizenship skills, say researchers at Project Zero, building a sense of community among classmates and the broader world.


Widen Layout: