Although young people have diverse experiences with civic life, most civic education practices in classrooms fail to recognize this complexity. In this article, Beth C. Rubin and Brian F. Hayes describe the results of a year-long research project that incorporated a new approach to civic learning into public high school social studies classrooms. They explore how students' disparate experiences with civic life shape civic identity development in complex and challenging ways across two distinct contexts. They offer a fully elaborated conceptualization of civic learning in settings of "congruence"and "disjuncture" and describe how the practice of connecting students'lives and experiences to the curriculum through civic action research, while promising,can also create dilemmas for both students and educators.

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