Hans Zeiger in Toldeo Blade: “Ohio’s proposed civics institutes would advance liberal education”

Hans Zeiger in the Toledo Blade: “Ohio’s proposed civics institutes would advance liberal education”


JMC president Hans Zeiger appeared in the Toledo Blade, writing on Ohio’s proposed civics institutes at the Ohio State University and the University of Toledo:

It’s time for America to get serious about civic education.

As recently released test scores show, young Americans’ knowledge of civics and history is on the decline. If we want to raise up the next generation to embrace American values, we need to dramatically improve civics education in this country.

Ohio has an opportunity to lead the way. The new Civics Institutes at the Ohio State University and University of Toledo proposed in Senate Bill 117 would be an important step in the right direction. These institutes would promote a broad understanding of the American political tradition while emphasizing the importance of freedom of inquiry and liberal education. SB 117 proposes a model for state-funded Civics Institutes that has seen great success in states like Arizona, Florida, and Texas. Recently, North Carolina and Tennessee have introduced legislation to create Civics Institutes at their respective flagship universities.

At a time when academic majors and professorships in history and the humanities are rapidly decreasing across higher education, these Civics Institutes are a refuge for students and faculty looking to pursue a liberal education at a public institution. These Civics Institutes would also help these universities carry out their public missions to “educate for citizenship” (Ohio State) and of “improving the human condition” (University of Toledo). Civics education unites Americans around a common knowledge of the American political tradition. Ohio’s new institutes seek to educate “university students in the principles, ideals, and institutions of the American constitutional order.” Voices from the left and the right can identify with that goal — even as they disagree about the best way to interpret and understand our shared tradition

Read the rest of the piece in the Toledo Blade >>



Hans ZeigerHans Zeiger is the President of the Jack Miller Center, a nationwide network of scholars and teachers who are committed to advancing the core texts and ideas of the American political tradition. In preparation for the 250th anniversary of American independence in 2026, Hans is leading an ambitious campaign to expand the pipeline of scholars who are dedicated to the teaching of America’s founding principles and history, to seed and cultivate university campus centers for the study of the American political tradition, and to expand the teaching of core civic knowledge in America’s K-12 schools.

Hans previously served in state and local government in Washington State, including service as chair of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee and ranking member on the House Higher Education Committee. He gained a reputation as a bipartisan collaborator, being named by the National Institute for Civil Discourse as co-recipient of the Gabrielle Giffords Award for Civility in State Governance in 2015.

Hans led the Chapman Center for Citizen Leadership at the Seattle-based Discovery Institute from 2012 to 2020. He was an adjunct professor of political science at Seattle Pacific University, a Leadership Fellow of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, and a Rodel Fellow of the Aspen Institute. Hans was also a trustee of the Washington State Historical Society.

Hans’s writings on public policy, history, and civil society have appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, National Review Online, and Seattle Times, among others.

Hans holds a bachelor’s degree from Hillsdale College and a master’s in public policy from Pepperdine University. He also studied American politics at Claremont Graduate University. He previously served as a public affairs officer in the Air National Guard. Hans and his wife Erin have two daughters.

Learn more about Hans Zeiger >>



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