Social Studies

Civic Education Initiative

Ensure that every student is provided a high-caliber civic education from kindergarten through high school graduation.

The primary laws and regulations for civic education are:

See the complete list of social studies laws and regulations.


  1. Enhancing the rigor of social studies disciplines (civics, economics, geography, and history);
  2. Building critical thinking, problem solving, and participatory skills for engaged citizenship; and
  3. Aligning social studies academic programs to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies.

  1. Classroom instruction on government, history, law, and democracy
  2. Discussion of current events and controversial issues
  3. Service learning
  4. Extracurricular activities
  5. School governance
  6. Simulations of democratic processes

Learn more about the six proven practices:

Learn about the many ways our schools, our communities, and the Washington State Legislature support civic education.




Citizens interested in helping build this list of examples of effective civic education may contact OSPI Social Studies at 360-725-6351.

Learn more about Washington’s annual civic observances.


Social Studies Icon (3 round images, Building, Lightbulb, Globe)

“Abundant research shows that civic literacy is just as critical to student success as literacy in math and English. And civic supports district work in many areas, like anti-bullying, the new arts initiative and the new Common Core education standards.”

Civics Education Poster

   Updated 11/16/2017

Old Capitol Building, PO Box 47200, 600 Washington St. S.E., Olympia, WA  98504-7200  360-725-6000  TTY 360-664-3631
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