Virginia Looks To Bolster Civics Education | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Virginia Looks To Bolster Civics Education

Play associated audio

Surveys have shown that Americans know little about the U.S. government and Constitution. The studies have prompted the Virginia General Assembly to revive a commission studying ways to bolster civics education.

In a Newsweek survey published recently, 38 percent of Americans surveyed failed the test that immigrants take to become citizens, while 70 percent did not know the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. In addition, 43 percent of those answering the questions didn't know that the first 10 amendments to the Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights.

Concerned about those trends, Senator Chap Peterson sponsored a bill creating the Commission which discusses teaching methods that go beyond rote learning:

"We talked about some new techniques that would open up the process and would have students feel more engaged, a more participatory atmosphere, bringing candidates in, having debates in front of school classes, things of that nature," he says.

They've also planned annual statewide conferences for civics teachers in the fall and 8th-graders in the spring.

NPR

If Robots 'Speak,' Will We Listen? Novel Imagines A Future Changed By AI

As artificial intelligence alters human connection, Louisa Hall's characters wrestle with whether machines can truly feel. Some "feel they have to stand up for a robot's right to exist," Hall says.
NPR

Aphrodisiacs Can Spark Sexual Imagination, But Probably Not Libido

Going on a picnic with someone special? Make sure to pack watermelon, a food that lore says is an aphrodisiac. No food is actually scientifically linked to desire, but here's how some got that rep.
NPR

A Reopened Embassy In Havana Could Be A Boon For U.S. Businesses

When the U.S. reopens its embassy in Havana, it will increase its staff. That should mean more help for American businesses hoping to gain a foothold on the Communist island.
NPR

In A Twist, Tech Companies Are Outsourcing Computer Work To ... Humans

A new trend is sweeping the tech world: hiring real people. NPR's Arun Rath talks to Wired reporter Julia Greenberg about why tech giants are learning to trust human instinct instead of algorithms.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.