Civics derives from the Latin word civicus, meaning relating to a citizen, and the Latin, civica, a garland of oak leaves worn about the head as a crown, a practice in ancient Rome wherein someone who saved another Roman citizen from death in war was rewarded with the civica and the right to wear it. It is analogous to modern day military medals. The term itself ultimately derives from the Latin civis, meaning citizen. The English usage of civics relates to behavior affecting other citizens, particularly in the context of urban development. 
Civic education is the study of the theoretical, political and practical aspects of citizenship, as well as its rights and duties. It includes the study of civil law and civil code, and the study of government with attention to the role of citizens―as opposed to external factors―in the operation and oversight of government.
Sudbury schools contend that values, social justice and democracy must be learned through experience as Aristotle said: "For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them." They adduce that for this purpose schools must encourage ethical behavior and personal responsibility. In order to achieve these goals schools must allow students the three great freedoms—freedom of choice, freedom of action and freedom to bear the results of action—that constitute personal responsibility. The "strongest, political rationale" for democratic schools is that they teach "the virtues of democratic deliberation for the sake of future citizenship." This type of education is often alluded to in the deliberative democracy literature as fulfilling the necessary and fundamental social and institutional changes necessary to develop a democracy that involves intensive participation in group decision making, negotiation, and social life of consequence.
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