Australian Parliamentary Delegation Visits CERL

Australian parliamentary delegation visits Dr. Diana Owen, Director of CERL, and Bradlee Sutherland, CERL Research Specialist, at Georgetown University.

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A delegation of members of the Australian House of Representatives met with Dr. Diana Owen,
Professor and Director of the Civic Education Research Lab (CERL) at Georgetown University,
and Bradlee Sutherland, CERL Research Specialist, to discuss ways of promoting and
improving civic education. The delegates were interested in how CERL’s research and findings
might apply to Australia. The discussion focused on the ways that civic education can
support democracy, especially in light of the current contentious political climate. The challenges
of providing quality civic education to all students in a country as large and complex as the U.S.
were compared with the situation in Australia which has a national civics curriculum. The
delegates were introduced to the Educating for American Democracy (EAD) initiative as a
mechanism for promoting excellence in civics and history nationwide. CERL is conducting pilot
research for EAD on programs at the elementary school level.

The delegation was led by Hon. Milton Dick, MP, Speaker of the House; Hon. David
Littleproud, MP, Leader of the Federal National Party, Shadow Minister for Agriculture and
Deputy Delegation Leader; Ms. Sharon Claydon, MP, Deputy Speaker and Chair of the Joint
Select Committee on Parliamentary Standards; Ms. Joanne Ryan, MP, Chief Government Whip;
and Mr. Bert van Manen, MP, Chief Opposition Whip. The visit was organized at the request of
the Embassy of Australia.