Icon: Curriculum
The Project Citizen Research Program is a three-year grant-funded project studying the efficacy of the Project Citizen curricular program for students and its supportive professional development program for teachers in achieving outcomes correlated with state standards in civics and government. Across five regions of the country, approximately 100 teachers each year have participated in the professional development program and implemented the curriculum with their students.

Partnered with Civic Education Research Lab (CERL)

The Civic Education Research Lab (CERL) at Georgetown University spearheads the research. In rigorous randomized control trials, teachers and students have completed pre- and post-implementation surveys of their civic knowledge and classroom experiences. Evaluators examine data on teachers' professional development and students’ civic knowledge, dispositions, and skills; social-emotional learning; and outcomes related to other academic areas such as English Language Arts and STEM.

Impact to Date

In Partnership with

Conference: Educating Students for Civic Engagement

More than 100 civic educators, researchers, and policymakers from across the country gathered as CERL released the results of its three-year, independent report on the impact of the PCRP on teachers and their students.

Research Findings

Year 1 Research

CERL’s Year 1 research report demonstrates the exciting impacts of Project Citizen! These results include:
  • 30% increase in teachers’ content knowledge and significant gains in their use of Project Citizen pedagogies
  • 42% increase in students’ civics content knowledge and significant improvement in their civic dispositions and skills
  • Students developed STEM skills as they researched a problem in their community

Culminating Research

CERL’s culminating research report was released during the PCRP conference, Educating Students for Civic Engagement: A Conference Exploring the Impact of Civic Education, on March 13–14, 2024. The results showed significant improvements in civic knowledge, dispositions, skills, and engagement, among both teachers and students involved in the program:
  • Knowledge growth was significantly greater for Project Citizen students than for students who took a traditional civics, social studies, American government, or American history class.
  • Project Citizen teachers placed significantly more emphasis on civic dispositions in their classes after participating in the professional development program.
  • The number of teachers who focused a great deal on civic skills increased from 40% to 73% in Year 1, from 57% to 71% in Year 2, and from 22% to 47% in Year 3.
  • The percentage of high school students who were very likely to turn out in elections increased from 69% to 72% in Year 1, from 63% to 69% in Year 2, and from 66% to 76% in Year 3.
You can see additional research results and specific data in the final report, which is available to download here:
Please read the May 2024 Research Impact article for a deeper look into the Center for Civic Education's analysis of Project Citizen's impact on civics education.

Showcase Results

PCRP National Showcase highlights new and exciting student public policy projects from schools across the country. Specifically, classes taking part in the PCRP national research grant create these projects.
This project is funded by an education research grant from the Institute for Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education. It is implemented by the Center for Civic Education, CERL, and Project Citizen state partners around the country.

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