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February 14, 2017

Experiential Education Should Be Apart from Schools and Colleges

David Randall, Communications Director of the National Association of Scholars, makes his third set of comments in our discussion about his report. He agrees that civic learning can never be reduced to only those things that can be learned in a classroom. But he thinks citizenship and experiential education should take place out of school.

January 24, 2017

Does Civics Belong in the Classroom?

This posting by David Randall, chief author of "Making Citizens," the new report from the National Association of Scholars, charges that the "new civics," aimed at turning America's youth into left wing activists, has replaced the "old civics," teaching students about the operations of government.

January 12, 2017

We the People Vs. a Chosen Body: A Debate as Old as the Nation

The new report by the National Association of Scholars, Making Citizens: How American Universities Teach Civics, reopens a debate as old as the nation -- is democracy is elections, or the ongoing work of the people?

November 10, 2016

Democracy Schools After the Election: Overcoming the Cult of the Expert

Hillary Clinton's defeat stems, in significant part, from the "cult of the expert" and the reliance on Big Data which infused it. The philosophy of democracy schools, resting on an alternative view of the person -- as unique, dynamic, full of co-creative agentic potential -- is a profound alternative.

September 20, 2016

An Epistemology of Agency

We need an "epistemology of agency" to counter today's growing "post-truth politics." And students will be receptive. They sense that we have the technology and the assets to address mounting problems. What we lack is education for civic agency, ways of knowing, learning, and acting to develop the capacities on a large scale for effective action across our differences. How can schools and colleges rise to this occasion?

September 13, 2016

Beyond the Melting Pot—The Powers of Citizens

The definition of citizens as co-creators adds dimensions of power beyond voting. It holds potential to challenge the "melting pot" definition of success in America, revitalizing cultural pluralism, the hidden genius of diverse cultural communities, and generating a less materialistic understanding of the American dream. How can we develop assessment practices and norms to evaluate the skills and capacities of cooperative effort and cultural development?

September 06, 2016

Signs of Hope in Discouraged Times—a New Citizenship Movement?

In a discouraging time, stirrings of a new movement for citizenship and civic education are signs of hope. The youth civic empowerment and civic education initiative Public Achievement illustrates, as does the new field of Civic Studies, centered on citizens as co-creators, and new congressional legislation.

May 31, 2016

Building Democracy in Schools: The Larger Strategy

Building democracy in schools is best thought of as a strand of a larger strategy to resist the rising authoritarian dangers of our time. Such a strategy calls for cross-partisan politics, organizing that sees the democratic potential in every kind of community, and a commitment to defending democracy and also deepening democracy.

May 17, 2016

How Can We Create Schools of the People?

America's history of collective action around schools—schools created by people's public work—is vital to remember in this election season because it is a story of the strength of the people, not the strength of elites. It includes largely unknown stories like the vast citizenship school movement of the civil rights movement, in which people found their strength. This election is all about the strength of celebrity candidates, not the people. We badly need a different public narrative of America.

April 02, 2015

NCAA Challenge Was a "Big Tent" Triumph

You, folks mentioned above, our Center and hundreds of others came together in a four-year battle with the N.C.A.A. It was a wonderful example of people across political, ideological and philosophical lines successfully challenging something that made no sense.

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