Citizen U®

The Barat Education Foundation (BEF) is a consortium partner in the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program. Since 2004, BEF has trained thousands of teachers in Illinois and nationally in the use of the Library of Congress digital resources impacting over 500,000 students.

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Multidisciplinary Civics Lesson Library

Citizen U® is BEF’s current initiative in the Teaching with Primary Sources Program. In 2017, BEF engaged the Office of Innovative Professional Learning (OIPL) at DePaul University and the Constitutional Rights Foundation in developing 31 inquiry-based elementary, middle and high school civics lessons. Lessons integrated civics knowledge, skills, and dispositions with ELA, math, science and/or social studies content, all aligned to C3 civics and common core standards. The Citizen U Multidisciplinary Civics Lesson Library continues to expand and currently includes nearly 200 lessons with contributions from the Library of Congress, TPS Consortium Partners and teachers from across the country.


Civics Educator and Racial Equity Micro-credentials

Barat and OIPL provide innovative and inclusive professional development opportunities for teachers through two cutting edge micro-credentials:

  1. A stackable Civics Educator Micro-Credential consisting of three components, and,
  2. RISE, a Racial Equity Micro Credential series, consisting of eight web-based seminars for teachers from across Illinois and the nation


Primary Source Nexus

BEF’s Citizen U® Primary Source Nexus website provides access to teaching and learning materials as well as curated primary source resources from the Library of Congress and has been visited by over a million educators and students from every state and U.S. territory and more than 150 countries. The Citizen U monthly news bulletin biweekly newsletter provides users with regular updates on civics and teaching with primary sources as well as news, opportunities and resources.

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