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Daniel Day-Lewis won the 2012 Academy Award for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln. Is Spielberg’s historical drama a good way to learn about the 16th U.S. president? Touchstone Pictures

Are movies a good way to learn history?

History movies may have Oscar potential, but their educational potential is more complicated. Should teachers use Hollywood to teach?
A high school talks over a civics assignment in an advanced placement class. Johnny Andrews/AP

Why America urgently needs to improve K-12 civic education

Only about 40-45 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds turned out to vote in the 2012 election. Civic education can improve youth turnout. But civic education itself remains neglected in US schools.

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