Civic learning means acquisition of the knowledge, the intellectual skills and the applied competencies that citizens need for informed and effective participation in civic and democratic life; it also means acquiring an understanding of the social values that underlie democratic structures and practices.

  • The knowledge component of civic learning includes an understanding of the United States, including its history and governmental traditions, other world societies, and the relationship(s) between and among these cultures and nations.
  • The intellectual skills component refers to qualities of mind necessary to engage effectively in civic activities.
  • The applied competencies component refers to the practical skills and capacities needed to engage effectively in civic activities.
  • The values component refers to understanding the social and political values that are associated with democratic and civic institutions.

This definition was created by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education.