Chapter 7 opens with the point that citizen awareness, understanding, and involvement in such issues is critical to the life of democracy. The point is made that it’s our government, it’s our laws, and like it or not, it’s our politics! Teachers must begin preparing children for responsible participation in civic culture.

A review of the history and content of political science, government, and law as academic disciplines follows the introduction. The chapter observes that even very young children are concerned with fundamental concepts and ideas from this important part of the social sciences.

The chapter then turns to an explanation of what K-6 students should know, with excerpts from National Standards for Civics and Government (1994) for grades K-4 and the National Council for Social Studies’ (NCSS) College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework. It also provides the learning expectations for NCSS’s civic ideals and practices.

It then provides background and explanation to democracy and Westheimer and Kahne’s (2004) three types of citizens in democratic education. While all citizen types are integral to democratic community, teachers should strive to develop their students’ experience in negotiation and deliberation.

Law-related education receives substantial treatment before a section that covers citizens’ rights to initiate social movements.