CERL Releases Three-Year Report on the Impact of the Project Citizen Research Program

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Dr. Diana Owen and the Civic Education Research Lab (CERL) researchers Kathryn Hartzell, Molly May, M. Bradlee Sutherland, and Arjun Chawla released a major report on the impact of the Project Citizen Research Program (PCRP). The PCRP evaluated the effectiveness of the Center for Civic Education’s Project Citizen (PC) teacher professional development (PD) program and curriculum intervention for middle and high school students over the course of three academic years, from 2020-2023, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Teachers attended a summer institute and follow-up professional development sessions throughout the academic year and instructed the PC curriculum. Under the curriculum, middle and high school students work as a class to research and develop proposals for solving a policy problem in their school or community which they present to stakeholders.

CERL conducted studies of three cohorts of PC teachers and students. The PCRP explored the impact of the PD program on teachers’ civic content knowledge, instructional objectives, use of active learning pedagogies, self-efficacy, and integration of STEM into the curriculum. Student academic learning outcomes after participating in PC related to acquisition of civic knowledge, dispositions, and skills, the development of civics-related SEL competencies, and the use of STEM in their classes were assessed. This report marks the culmination of that research. The PCRP was funded by a grant from the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.

Read the 2024 Report on the Project Citizen Research Program.