"Civic education is a vital means by which our society transmits to the next generation the core knowledge,
skills, and dispositions of democratic citizenship.
It is what allows democratic societies to reproduce themselves across generations."
-Patrick, J.J.; Vontz, T.S.; Nixon, W.A. (2002) Issue Centered Democracy Education Through Project Citizen, p. 93, in
Education for Democracy: Contexts, Curricula, Assessments, ed. Parker, W.C.; Information Age Publishing, Charlotte, NC.
Civic ecology offers a biopsychosocial perspective on effective citizenship as prosocial problem-solving,
a framework for the integration of science & civic learning across K-16 education.
Civic ecology is an emerging field of study, seeded by Aristotle's zoon politkon, evolving since the late 1970's, and popularized in the 21st century by Cornell's Marianne Krasny and Keith Tidball.
The PEAR Lab builds on this tradition by generalizing it in a unique direction, viewing the human dynamics of citizenship as ecological dynamics in their own right. This approach allows us to assess and improve the provisioning of valued outcomes from our civic ecosystems.
Civic ecology combines best practices in participatory action-research, informed by a human behavioral ecology background. By using this integrated perspective, we are working towards a community development process that improves group-level efficacy, and simultaneously contributes to a global database of foundational and applied research on human prosociality.