The article is devoted to the study of the main tendencies in the civic education of young people in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has fueled a crisis for democracy around the world. The “democracy under lockdown” situation represented by diminishing democratic space, human rights violations, different kinds of abuse of power due to pandemic measures, etc., influenced civic education developments, created new challenges, and posed further questions to the educational community. The authors draw attention to the spread of structural distrust in the world, which weakens democratic institutions. The pandemic has accelerated the spread of these trends. Education should be a means of building trust, which is the basis of social relations. Raising young people’s confidence in the democratic project should strengthen the mechanisms for overcoming the negative socio-political influence of COVID-19. The consequence of the pandemic is the destruction of republican ideals. This is due to the fact that communities are closed to themselves. The “freedom or security” dilemma is often resolved in favor of security. Such a situation does not allow young people to form social responsibility for the common good and a sense of belonging to a common public space. Thus, the task of science education aims to create critical thinking that allows to adequately solve the dilemma of “freedom or security”, which will not destroy the feeling of the need to build a political community on republican principles and care for the common good. The authors endeavor to identify the main trends in science education developments related to civic engagement and critical thinking elaboration, science-informed decision-making and knowledge-based innovation, and the transmission of democratic values.
Keywords: science education, responsible citizenship, trust, democracy, educational policy