Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Publications

Liberal Education, Summer 2012
Liberal Education, Summer 2012

This issue presents highlights of the 2012 AAC&U annual meeting. Also included are articles on assessment reform as a means of facilitating innovation in science education, the current state and future prospects of the liberal arts college, and the importance of foreign language study.

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Promising Practices for Personal and Social Responsibility: Findings from a National Research Collaborative
2012

Drawing on meetings of a distinguished group of educational researchers, Promising Practices for Personal and Social Responsibility highlights select national/multi-institutional data and major themes along five dimensions of personal and social responsibility. Importantly, the report also offers a set of evidence-based recommendations for improving campus practice in relation to educating students for personal and social responsibility.

Free Download Promising Practices for Personal and Social Responsibility: Findings from a National Research Collaborative (pdf copy).

Civic Provocations
2012

Recognizing the urgent need for colleges and universities to address their civic mission and that of higher education, Civic Provocations features accessible, brief essays that consider dimensions of what “centering attention to the civic” might mean and involve. Civic Provocations provokes deepened consideration and campus conversations—both needed for designing actions required to realize a civic mission. The provocations are written by leading civic scholars and practitioners; the topics range from civic learning to action research; from global civics to civility; from curricula to civic pedagogy; and from theory to practices.

Civic Provocations (pdf copy).

This is the first in the five volume Civic Series of monographs being published by the Bringing Theory to Practice Project between 2012 and 2014.

Diversity & Democracy, Spring 2012
Diversity & Democracy, Spring 2012

This issue of Diversity & Democracy explores how the arts and humanities can enhance students' capacities for democratic participation within diverse and globally interconnected local and national communities.

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Liberal Education, Spring 2012
Liberal Education, Spring 2012

This issue examines underemphasized dimensions of diversity, new research about the links between student outcomes and campus practices that promote diversity and civic-mindedness, and the historical development of the notion of "civic virtue." Also included are articles on quantitative literacy, on the place of the arts in a liberal education, on how the goals of the LEAP initiative look from the perspective of a for-profit university, and on evidence-based problem solving.

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Civic Learning and Democratic Engagements: A Review of the Literature on Civic Engagement in Post-Secondary Education
2012

Distributed at the Association of American Colleges & Universities 2012 Annual Meeting in conjunction with the release of A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy's Future, this review includes six essential findings on students' civic learning and engagement:

  • More than 70 percent of all college students report participating in some form of volunteering, community service, or service learning during their time in college.
  • About one-half of college students report participating in credit-bearing service learning activities during their time in college.
  • Dozens of studies show that service learning is positively associated with a variety of civic learning outcomes.
  • Emerging evidence suggests that the more frequently students participate in a continuum of civic learning practices (e.g. service learning, meaningful cross-racial interactions on campus or in classrooms, or real-world problem-based
  • ...
A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy's Future
2012

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This report from the National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement calls on the nation to reclaim higher education's civic mission. Commissioned by the Department of Education and released at a White House convening in January 2012, the report pushes back against a prevailing national dialogue that limits the mission of higher education to workforce preparation and training while marginalizing disciplines basic to democracy. The Task Force calls on educators and public leaders to advance a twenty-first-century vision of college learning for all students—a vision with civic learning and democratic engagement an expected part of every student's college education. The report documents the nation's anemic civic health and includes recommendations for action that address campus culture, general education, and civic inquiry as part of major and career...

The Drama of Diversity and Democracy (Second Edition 2011)
2011

In releasing this new edition of The Drama of Diversity and Democracy, the Association of American Colleges and Universities invites higher education to reengage with one of our most foundational questions: the role educators can and should play in building civic capacities—knowledge, skills, commitments, collaborations—for our diverse and globally connected democracy. This edition features a new foreword by Ramón A. Gutiérrez, and a new prefaculty by AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider. The original version of this publication was released in 1995 as part of AAC&U's national initiative American Commitments: Diversity, Democracy, and Liberal Learning.

This is a free online publication. It is available as a PDF document.

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagements: A Review of the Literature on Civic Engagement in Post‐Secondary Education
2011

What civic engagement is, how students should go about it, and what it should do for them after the fact is both a philosophical debate and a research divide. Even a cursory review of the literature would demonstrate that we know the most about the empirical effects of civic engagement through the lens of service‐learning. Moreover, this research has produced a convincing amount of evidence on the positive effects of service‐learning across a range of student‐centered outcomes, including gains in learning, and aspects of personal and social development. But is service‐learning really civic engagement? A number of scholars have argued that most forms of service‐learning (or other forms of apolitical community engagement) fail to intentionally engage students in the activities and processes central to democratic‐building (i.e. deliberative dialogue, collaborative work, problem‐solving within diverse groups). In essence, these scholars argue it is not enough for students to engage in...

Liberal Education, Spring 2011
Liberal Education, Spring 2011

Drawing from a national symposium convened by the Bringing Theory to Practice project, this special issue examines the interrelatedness of civic engagement, psychosocial well-being, and engaged learning.

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The LEAP Vision for Learning: Outcomes, Practices, Impact, and Employers' Views
2011

This new publication outlines the LEAP vision for learning, bringing together multiple strands of LEAP work. It includes an executive summary of College Learning for the New Global Century; summaries of research about high-impact educational practices and learning outcomes; summaries of trends in curricular, assessment, and general education reform; and data about the outcomes that employers value in the college graduates they hire and promote. This summary is ideal as an introduction to AAC&U's LEAP (Liberal Education and America's Promise) initiative and its research for use with internal and external advocates of educational reform, including with curricular and student success committees, boards of trustees, and regents.

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Engaging Diverse Viewpoints: What Is the Campus Climate for Perspective-Taking?
2010

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Engaging Diverse Viewpoints focuses on whether—and which—environments promote students' abilities to understand and be informed by perspectives that differ from their own. The report presents findings from a unique campus climate assessment tool—administered in 2007 to 24,000 students and 9,000 academic administrators, faculty, and student affairs professionals at twenty-three colleges and universities—that illuminate how these groups believe their campuses promote the importance of taking seriously the perspectives of others. This publication also addresses what aspects of the college experience promote engaging difference and appreciation for multiple perspectives. Ideal for on-campus and campus-community discussions about perspective-taking. Engaging Diverse Viewpoints is the third report from the Core Commitments initiative. The first...

2010

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Developing a Moral Compass focuses on whether—and how well—educational environments foster academic integrity and promote ethical responsibilities to self and others. The report presents findings from a unique campus climate assessment tool—administered in 2007 to 24,000 students and 9,000 academic administrators, faculty, and student affairs professionals at twenty-three colleges and universities—regarding opportunities for developing competence in ethical and moral reasoning and cultivating personal and academic integrity. Issues addressed in the publication include sources of support for students to discuss their moral and ethical challenges and the impact of academic honor codes. Ideal for on-campus and campus-community discussions about ethics and academic integrity, Developing a Moral Compass is the second report from the Core...

Civic Knowledge and Engagement VALUE Rubric (pdf)
2010

Civic Engagement VALUE Rubric Description
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Questions/Help: support@aacu.org.

Also available in MS Word Version (DOC).

Civic Responsibility: What Is the Campus Climate for Learning?
2009

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How well is the academy meeting its civic purpose today? Our nation's shared future depends on an educated and engaged citizenry, and civic engagement should be a learning goal for all college students. Civic Responsibility: What Is the Campus Climate for Learning?, the first of three reports from AAC&U's Core Commitments initiative, provides insights about the civic commitments and practices of today's colleges and universities. It presents findings from a unique campus climate assessment tool—administered in 2007 to 24,000 students and 9,000 academic administrators, faculty, and student affairs professionals at twenty-three colleges and universities—and assesses the perceptions of these four constituent groups regarding campus opportunities for contributing to a larger community. The survey includes questions about the...

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