Publicado el 10-15-2012
A Great Initiative by
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who retired in 2006 after twenty-five years in the Supreme Court, is on a crusade for the children and teenagers of the country to learn how the U.S. government works and to that end she has created a website, iCivics.org.
Justice O’Connor realized that we have a complex system of government and that it must be taught to every generation. An Annenberg poll found that more people could name an American Idol judge than the chief justice of the United States.
The website is designed to make Civics fun, because kids like to play games on the computer. A group of advisors made up of teachers worked in the preparation of a basic Civics course and then game designers prepared different games with the content. There are games about the Constitution, about Citizenship and Participation, about the Branches of Power, Foreign Policy, Defense, etc. And everything is free.
It is a fact that young people spend an average of forty hours a week in front of a screen, either a computer or a television screen. One or two hours a week would be enough to teach them Civics. In addition to the games that parents can use by themselves at home, iCivics.org also has a special section for teachers where it offers them curriculum material. Baylor University did a study and put iCivics to use in many schools in Texas for three months. The results were so good that the program is now used in the fifty states and in an estimated 55,000 classrooms.
In spite of this encouraging beginning, Mrs. O’Connor has said that she would like more schools and more parents to use the program. It is important that American citizens understand how their government works and how they can be a part of it, how to express themselves beyond voting.
The earlier the kids begin to study Civics, the better prepared they will be when they are adults to serve the high and permanent ideals of their country.