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October 18, 2016

Lessons of Citizen Teachers

What's democracy got to do with teaching? Deborah Meier asked. A lot - including the nature of pedagogy and the identity of teachers who teach love of ideas, the importance of evidence, and the importance of public relationships with other adults, teachers and parents.

October 14, 2016

Communities of Co-Creators

Democracy only works when open discourse is embraced. Schools must encourage discourse, and, even argument for the purpose of creating a foundation for democracy, and, in turn, some degree of liberty.

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 15, 2016

How Do We Rebuild Democratic Communities for Education?

In an open letter to Harry Boyte, Deborah Meier considers how elements of school choice, like school vouchers and charters schools, promote ethnic and partisan separatism.

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 09, 2016

The Power of Citizens Over Public Education

How much real power do parents, teachers, and students have in public schools? The opt-out movement and privatization may be changing the equation in different ways, writes Deborah Meier.

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.

June 13, 2016

Sticking to Democracy Is Hard

It would be odd indeed if schools to prepare cooks never did any cooking. It's equally odd that schools to prepare the young to assume the obligations of running their society have no opportunity to rule anything.

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 26, 2016

Do Democracy Schools Depend on Homogeneity?

Deborah Meier questions whether it's natural for democracy to depend on a heterogeneous population base, where the country's mainstream is not ready to embrace the idea of equality in its fullest sense.

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