We are excited to announce the publication our first issue of the Journal of Civic Literacy (JCL) today July 1, 2014. This online journal publishes research into the causes and consequences of Americans’ low levels of civic knowledge, the role of public education, the comparative efficacy of available curricula and programs (what is working? why and how?), the connections between the current media environment and deficient civic understandings, and the role of civic literacy in defining ethical and trustworthy public service. As we have spent a great deal of time planning, writing, reviewing, and editing, this publication is the result of two years of work.
The inaugural issue features Former Supreme Court Justice David Souter’s reflections on the importance of civic literacy to America’s future, the role civic literacy plays in the continued independence of America’s courts, and the ability of people to amend the constitution if and when necessary.
We received many quality submissions for this, our first peer-reviewed publication.
Heather McCabe and Sheila Kennedy provide a frame for our current research questions in Civic Identity, Civic Deficit: The Unanswered Questions. James Duplass summarizes pedagogical concerns about civics courses in Ideology: The Challenges for Civic Literacy Educators. Political scientists Aaron Dusso and Henrik Schatzinger explore the ways in which social capital affects the depth of political arguments in Bridging versus Bonding Social Capital: Explaining the Consent of Anti-Patriot Resolutions. Meslin et. al. reimagine the philosophies of Locke, Hobbes, and Rousseau in the context of U.S. health care policy in Is the Social Contract Incompatible with the Social Safety Net? Revisiting a Key Philosophical Tradition, and John Poynton and Don Haddad review effective strategies for building civic connections in school districts in The Role of Civic Education in Public Education and How School Officials Can Expand It.
In our book review section, Steve Sanders provides a review of Ilya Somin’s Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter.
Finally, we offer a section we call Living Citizenship, where civics practitioners can highlight best practices and consider the implication of emerging research. Our first issue features Charles Dunlap on Indiana’s highly successful civics development program in Civics Can Succeed: Preparing Young Citizens Through “We the People.”
Please subscribe for free to receive each issue as it is published. JCL will publish two issues each year. Our next issue will be published in February 2015. We accept submissions on a rolling basis and provide prompt peer reviews and feedback. If you are interested in submitting a manuscript for consideration to be published in JCL please visit our journal page and register for an account. Any questions about submission should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sheila Suess Kennedy, J.D. is Director of the Center for Civic Literacy and Professor of Law and Public Policy in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis. She is the Executive Editor for the Journal of Civic Literacy.