Civics Education

​In 2015, the teaching of Civics became a state requirement for Illinois high school students. The mandate become effective in 2016, beginning with the freshmen class of 2016-2017. Illinois now requires that a semester-long civics class be taught to high school students, focusing on government institutions, current and controversial issue discussions, and service learning. Courses will also include simulations of the democratic process. School districts retained flexibility how they will meet the new requirement, and whether to have a separate Civics course or include the requirement with existing courses such as Government or U.S. History. This oral history project examines the origins of this requirement and how Illinois high schools are meeting this mandate.