“Justice Learning” gives students a first-hand look at democracy in action

The New York Times and National Public Radio have joined forces to create Justice Learning, a civics education web site for high school students and teachers based on NPR’s radio program, “Justice Talking.” The web site uses audio content from “Justice Talking” and related lesson plans and articles from The New York Times Learning Network, a free service for teachers, parents, and students in grades three to 12, to engage students in informed political discourse. Justice Learning is designed around eight distinct civics issues, each updated twice a year. Current issues include affirmative action, civil liberties, the death penalty, gun control, juvenile justice, and web censorship. The project “brings news issues to life for its audience,” says Gary Kalman, communications director of “Justice Talking.” Through articles, editorials, and oral debate from some of the nation’s leading journalists, Justice Learning challenges students to think about the often-conflicting values of America, while learning how each of democracy’s institutions—Congress, the courts, the presidency, the press, and schools—shapes and impacts the issues of our times.

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