The Capitol Forum program, developed by Brown University in Rhode Island and currently offered in ten states, engages high school social studies students and teachers in deliberation about our nation's future in the changing international environment. The program involves students both within their social studies classroom and beyond the classroom at their state capitol.
Through this program, students study classroom materials focusing on global issues, such as the environment, trade, terrorism, immigration, and proliferation. Student teams from each class are then chosen to represent their schools in the statewide Capitol Forum in Olympia, where they deliberate on U.S. foreign policy and ultimately discuss their conclusions with policymakers.
After the Capitol Forum, students return to their classrooms and host their own class-wide forum on the issues they discussed in Olympia. The entire class then has the opportunity to participate in a nationwide Capitol Forum Online Ballot to compare their conclusions with students from other states. Results of the ballot are compiled and distributed by Brown University to elected officials, Washington schools, and news media later this summer.
To see how students voted, read the
- 2008 Ballot Report (PDF) (All US Students)
- 2007 Ballot Report (PDF) (All US Students)
- 2007 Ballot Report (PDF) (Washington Students)
- 2006 Ballot Report (PDF) (All US Students)
- 2006 Ballot Report (PDF) (Washington Students)
- 2005 Ballot Report (PDF) (All US Students)
Capitol Forum in Olympia
March 26, 2009
Student teams from participating schools report on the international concerns of their classmates and engage in a deeper exploration of alternative policy directions. The day culminates in a dialogue among students, teachers, and elected officials and policymakers.
Classroom Deliberation & Balloting
Following the Forum at the State Capitol, the student representatives lead their classmates through a two-day lesson fostering deliberation of the issues. All students in the classroom complete an online Student Ballot on America’s Future.
Sharing of Ballot Results
A report of the ballot results from all participating states is prepared for participating high schools, the media, elected officials, and is available online.
The 2009 Washington State Capitol Forum was co-sponsored by:
- Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
- Secretary of State
- Social Studies Education Program, College of Education, University of Washington, Seattle
- Washington State Coalition for International Education
- World Affairs Council Global Classroom Program
Note: The 2008 program was funded in part by the 2007 State Innovations grant to the International Education Coalition from Longview Foundation and Asia Society. For details, see Projects > Capitol Forum.
For more information about Capitol Forum, contact:
Michele Anciaux Aoki firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo from the March 30, 2006 Capitol Forum in Olympia.
View Photos from the 2005 Capitol Forum, co-sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Seattle.