Student-Created Curriculum: Bridging the Divide in Civics Education

At the Institute for Youth in Policy (YIP), a team of high school and college students seeks to bring a dynamic youth voice to high school civics education. Inspired by personal experiences as students, YIP’s Education Department members set out in 2022 to develop a civics curriculum based on a more interactive, nonpartisan approach. The 50+ students in the department, living across the U.S. and internationally, have spent the last 1.5 years collaborating remotely to build this curriculum. On July 20th, 2023, the team will have the opportunity to connect with educators in person by sharing their work in a presentation at the 2023 AP Annual Conference in Seattle, WA. The conference runs from July 19-21 this year and is attended by thousands of education professionals annually.

The Education team was invited to present a session at the conference on issues in civics education today and the relevance of YIP’s curriculum in addressing these issues. The session is entitled “Engaging Youth in Politics through Discourse-Based Civics Education”. Presenters include Mollie Guba, Senior Vice President of Education and a junior at Northwestern University from Evanston, IL; Mihika Chechi, Assistant Vice President of Education and an incoming freshman at the London School of Economics from Burbank, CA; and Isabel Epistelomogi, Director of Education Research & Analytics and an incoming freshman at the University of Southern California from Waukesha, WI. The development of the presentation has also been supported by leadership members Shelly Ballaish, Assistant Vice President of Education and an incoming freshman at the University of Florida from Boca Raton, FL, and Hannah Alfieri, Director of Editing and an incoming freshman at the University of Florida from Odessa, FL. 

The department’s curriculum was inspired by the goal of integrating youth perspectives into political debates by creating opportunities in classrooms for political discussions and civic engagement. “We are genuinely excited about the upcoming AP conference as it provides an unparalleled platform for us to share our innovative approach to civics with a broader audience,” said founder and CEO Paul Kramer, an incoming freshman at Vanderbilt University from Palo Alto, CA. “At the Institute for Youth in Policy, we are driven by the conviction that an educated, informed young populace is the bedrock of a thriving democracy. This conference gives us the opportunity to impact more lives, instilling in our youth, not just knowledge, but a profound sense of responsibility and involvement in the world around them.”

The Institute for Youth in Policy (YIP) is a nonpartisan, student-led organization combating political polarization. YIP seeks to re-engage youth in politics by promoting open-minded, solution-focused political discussions among students. In today’s partisan political climate, YIP is committed to helping students understand the many dimensions of current issues through nonpartisan policy content, civics education, and discussion-based events and programming.

Contact information

Mollie Guba, Senior Vice President of Education

(978) 971-8772