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Generation Citizen Evaluation

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Evaluating how the innovative curriculum affects student learning, motivation, and engagement
  • Client
    Institute of Education Sciences
  • Dates
    2021 - 2024


Traditional civics education does not focus on real-world civics engagement.

Current civics education leans toward traditional, passive classroom instruction rather than political or civic engagement skills. Generation Citizen is an active, project-based approach to civics in which students identify a real issue in their community, research its causes, consider solutions, develop an action plan, implement their plan, and then evaluate their challenges and successes. It is intended to ensure that young people develop the skills they need to exercise their civic power.

The Institute of Education Sciences at the Department of Education funded NORC, the University of Southern California, and Gibson Consulting to rigorously evaluate Generation Citizen's supplemental action civics curriculum to determine the extent to which it affects students' civic learning, motivation, and engagement. 


NORC is assessing the effectiveness of Generation Citizen’s civics curriculum.

NORC’s evaluation includes a randomized design study to provide evidence of the curriculum's impact on student outcomes, including civics knowledge, civics motivation, and civics engagement. The selection of schools aims to include a diverse set of students with regard to race, ethnicity, language ability, and economic status. We will measure their civics knowledge and motivation through pre- and post-program student assessments. We will measure students' civic engagement by examining their 2024 voting behaviors (such as whether they register to vote and whether they vote). In addition, we will document the implementation of Generation Citizen, the contexts in which it is delivered, and factors that affect its delivery, exploring implementation fidelity and barriers to implementation. We will survey teachers and interview principals about their experiences during the study and collect brief logs from teachers and students. We will also investigate the costs of implementing Generation Citizen relative to its outcomes. 


This study will inform decision-making related to civics education.

Results will be available in the spring of 2025.

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