Fostering Civic Engagement through Project-Based Learning

07 February 2024, Version 1
This content is an early or alternative research output and has not been peer-reviewed at the time of posting.


This paper addresses the basic question: Is project-based learning for secondary school students an effective mechanism for developing civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions? The study will focus on Project Citizen (PC), a widely used curricular program of the Center for Civic Education. The Civic Education Research Lab (CERL) at Georgetown University conducted a three-year study of PC from 2020-2023. The project employed a randomized control trial (RCT) that compared students of teachers who took part in PC professional development (PD) and implemented the curriculum in their classrooms to students enrolled in traditional civics and social studies classes. Survey data collected on middle and high school students was used to test hypotheses about the effectiveness of PC in conveying civic orientations. The findings indicate that PC produced significant positive civic learning outcomes when implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic.


civic education
civic knowledge
civic dispositions
civic skills
project-based learning


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