An initiative of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, the Democratic Knowledge Project Design Studio (DKP) is a studio for the creation of ethics and civics resources, at all educational levels: K-16, post-graduate, and lifelong learning. The studio supports faculty projects ranging from Embedded Ethics, which includes ethics modules in computer science courses, to Scientific Citizenship, which helps graduate students in the natural sciences learn how to participate in public affairs, to the DKP K-12 initiative, focused on curricular materials for Massachusetts schools.

The DKP K-12 initiative originally co-designed a year-long Grade 8 Civics Course, “
Civic Engagement in Our Democracy” in collaboration with the History and Social Studies Department and 8th grade educators in the Cambridge Public Schools in 2019. We subsequently collaborated with over 38 educators in 15 Massachusetts districts (including Cambridge) in the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years to implement and provide input on revision of subsequent iterations of that curriculum. The curriculum is evaluated by our research team, and iteratively re-designed via partnerships between the DKP team and educators.

The DKP-Cambridge Grade 8 Civics Curriculum: “Civic Engagement in Our Democracy”
- A Declaration of Independence video game (produced by Amplify)
- The Ten Questions for Change-makers Reflection and Action Framework for Action CivicsA Set of Action Civics Case Study Exemplars

Adaptation: If you have adapted our curricular materials in minor ways—changing wording, omitting or rearranging questions, etc.—please leave the DKP logo in place. If you are doing more significant adaptations (so that it feels more like you’re incorporating portions of the DKP materials into your own work, rather than just reshaping the DKP materials), please include language that signals this by referencing the following: This was adapted from material developed by the Democratic Knowledge Project, an initiative of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.

Professional Development:
Workshops at Harvard University
- Massachusetts Library System Professional Development Opportunities for Youth Librarians
- In-district trainings
- In-school trainings
- Curricular co-design services
- Instructional Coaching support

Assessment Services:
Assessment tools to accompany the DKP-Cambridge Grade 8 Curriculum
- Consulting services for school, district, and state level assessment and accountability frameworks

Please contact us if you have any questions: democraticknowledgeproject@gmail.com

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The Democratic Knowledge Project is an initiative of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.