Civics | New Hampshire Public Radio

Civics

Bills Requiring Civics Tests For High School, College Students Move Ahead In Legislature

Apr 9, 2021

A bill requiring students in the university and community college systems of New Hampshire to pass a civics naturalization test as part of their diploma requirements passed the House by one vote on Thursday.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

State leaders often hold New Hampshire up as a beacon of civic engagement. We do host the first in the nation primary, after all. 

But a new report from the UNH Carsey School of Public Policy shows that the state actually ranks toward the bottom of the country in some key measures of civic health.

The past year has been a living civics lesson for our country: two impeachments, a tense election, a split U.S. Senate, and an insurrection at the Capitol. We talk with two New Hampshire educators about how they’re bringing these realities into their classrooms, and how students are tapping into this moment. 

Looking for lesson plans, activities, and podcast episodes for students? Check out Civics 101. 

Air date: Monday, February 1, 2021. 

Courtesy of Sarah Wong

In the two weeks since a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, many people in New Hampshire have been trying to make sense of the news. That includes kids, who are still learning the basics of government and politics. And it also includes many families and teachers, who say with the right approach, the events of this month can become teaching opportunities.

The hosts of NHPR's Civics 101, a podcast refresher course on the basics of our democracy, have written a new book, A User's Guide to Democracy: How America Works.  We talk with them about what people should, and often don't, know about American government, and we hear from leaders in NH who are working to improve civics education for students and new Americans. 

Air date: Monday, September 28, 2020. 

Beginning this Sunday NHPR is airing special seasons of the Civics 101 podcast. History buffs, teachers, and students can tune in to learn more about the basics of American democracy. 

NHPR’s Emily Quirk spoke with Nick Capodice, co-host of the Civics 101 podcast.

File Photo, NHPR

New Hampshire schools' social studies standards are expected to get an update this year. The proposed updates from the DOE come after mounting concern among some lawmakers over the lack of history and civics in public education.

"It's critical for our democracy that one, people know how it works and two, people know how to get involved if they are upset and want to change it," says Rep. Garrett Muscatel of Hanover.

There's A Podcast For That

Nov 26, 2019

Whether you’re stuck in traffic or stuck in the kitchen as Thanksgiving nears, we have some ideas for great podcast listening. These on-demand shows have exploded in the last decade, and are now being used for in-depth reporting, to influence policy, and as educational tools. We discuss the latest podcasts, and the role podcasts are playing in the media industry.

Read on for all our recommendations!

Original air date: Wednesday, November 27, 2019. 

"Democracy is not a spectator sport," says Kenneth C Davis, author of America's Hidden History and the new Don't Know Much About History. We discuss the role of social studies education in encouraging students to be active and informed participants in democracy. And, we take a look at the new "Moose on the Loose" social studies curriculum for New Hampshire students. 

Original air date: Thursday, October 3rd at 9 a.m.

When you think about civics and government, you probably think about voting and politicians, but the government touches every part of your life from birth to death. Today, we look at birth. What does it take to be born an American citizen? And then, once you are, how do you prove it?

Then, the story of how tourism on Mount Washington became a model for mountain tourism nationally.

Why Do Midterms Matter & How Do They Impact You?

Oct 31, 2018
Sara Plourde

We sit down with NHPR's Civics 101, our podcast refresher course on the basics of our democracy.  The team has dug into how midterm elections impact us, the local and national offices on the ballot, and what makes midterms unique in New Hampshire. 

Listen to the entire Midterm Edition series from Civics 101 here

Be sure to check out NHPR's voter resources page to find the answers to all your voting questions.  During the show a caller asked how to change party affiliation before voting, but in the general election, it's not necessary to change affiliation to vote for either party.  For more information, click on our title to see this full page, for links to more coverage.

Justine Paradis

What if the gym were a joyful place?

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IIP Photo Archive via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/Pj7gW9

On today's show: 

Ben McLeod via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/2xMv5

On today's show: 

Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/d6GCKA

On today's show: 

Several organizations are coming together to address what they say has been an abrupt and sharp decline in basic historical knowledge among New Hampshire students.

New Hampshire Historical Society president Bill Dunlap sounded the alarm in an op-ed earlier this month, saying this knowledge deficit could have dramatic consequences for the state.

evmaiden via Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire students may soon be brushing up on their state history. A new law will require New Hampshire high school students to take one credit of history and a half credit of civics as a prerequisite for graduation.

Democratic Senator Lou D’Allesandro, a former civics teacher, sponsored the bill. He says chronic low voter turnout in the U.S. is a symptom of poor civics education.

6.14.17: Civics 101 & Threshold

Jun 14, 2017
Kabsik Park via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/dhTjZ

On today's show:

6.13.17: Civics 101 & Threshold

Jun 13, 2017
U.S. Geological Survey via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/kj623W

On today's show:

6.12.17: Civics 101 & The Threshold Podcast

Jun 12, 2017
NPS / Jacob W. Frank | Public Domain / https://flic.kr/p/ThR1AE

On today's show:

  • Civics 101 - Declaring War
  • "'Please Call Stella': Capturing English, from Afrikaans to Zulu." Producer Rebecca Sheir taks a look -- and listen -- inside the world's largest online database of English accents. Listen again at prx.org.
  • All this week we're playing episodes from the first season of the podcast Threshold. Today we talk to the host of the podcast, Amy Martin and share Episode 1. Listen to this Episode 1 here. To learn more, see photos, and listen to bonus interviews, head to thresholdpodcast.org.

Nashua City Civics Class Is Surprisingly Popular

Mar 7, 2017
Emily Corwin / NHPR

Not even Mayor Jim Donchess expected the city’s new thirteen-week, twenty-six hour class on city government to fill up so fast.  

“Fifty people seemed like comfortable number,” Donchess said. When those seats filled up quickly,  his office closed registration.

The syllabus includes subjects such as what happens to solid waste, and what tax assessors do.

“Well, I wouldn’t call it dry,” Jay Welch said as students streamed into the city’s auditorium. Like many who showed up, Welch is an avid volunteer.

What’s the appeal? Answers ran the gamut.