The Choices Program has been sponsoring student forums on international public policy issues for more than 15 years. These forums usually engage students from multiple schools and involve preparation within the social studies classroom prior to the forum.
Students who participate in these forums report that they provide a valuable opportunity to talk about substantive issues with peers who have different life experiences and different views. Teachers report that the magic that happens when students with diverse backgrounds and experiences engage with one another in a forum on immigration or economics or war is palpable.
Launched in 1998, the Capitol Forum is an experiential civic education initiative that is run on a statewide basis in participating states. The Capitol Forum seeks to raise awareness on critical international issues and to help develop a foundation for longterm civic engagement. The program is organized in each participating state by a lead organization with an interest in international education and youth civic engagement.
Local models allow for any content topics that fit the curriculum and inform the ultimate question of the role of the United States in the world.
The Capitol Forum is endorsed by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), and the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS).