How important is the teaching of democracy? Th e preface of the NCSS standards provides the answer, “…our fi rst priority, our fi rst public policy goal, must be to ensure our survival as a free nation through the development of students who can assume the offi ce of citizen” (Hartoonian, n.d.). What are the qualifi cations for the offi ce of citizen and what are the skills needed to be successful in this offi ce? Democracy is a concept that must be learned and a skill that must be practiced.