The Taft Institute for Government was founded in 1961 to expand and improve political participation in the United States. The institute has focused on improving civic education (K-12) through university-school community workshops that provide teachers with the latest political science research, innovative pedagogy, and direct interaction with political practitioners. To date, over30,000 teachers have participated in Taft Institute seminars.
Since moving to Queens College, CUNY Campus in 1996, the institute has diversified its work to include new programs. One has sponsored leadership training. Other programs have expanded teacher preparation for improving economic education in partnership with the Council for Economic Education (CEE. Election and city council simulation games have been designed for classroom/ school political role-play. Thus, the Institute’s current work focuses on three broad categories; improving civic education; expanding economic education; and enhancing community participation.
As described in detail in other parts of this site, civic education includes professional development for teachers joined with curriculum development. Our curriculum development programs have been supported by generous grants from the New York Community Trust, The Council for Economic Education, and Teaching Primary Sources(TPS) from the Library of Congress.
New York Community Trust has also generously supported our community leadership training programs, as have been Hazen Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and Rockefeller Foundation.