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March 28, 2017

Empowering Students: When the Last Become First

In learning civic skills and taking public action through the citizen politics approach, students, often on the margins, change expectations and challenge school cultures. They also illustrate the power of "a different kind of politics" beyond the Manichean mindset.

January 19, 2017

Active Citizenship Is Democracy's Best Defense

Service learning and student organizing can provide students with connections and channels to become active citizens, writes Deborah Meier.

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?

December 01, 2016

Turning Jobs Into Public Work

Facing a ferocious attack on the public purposes of education from the incoming Trump administration, it is crucial not to only focus on the dangers -- as real as they are. We also need to recognize the stirrings of a democracy movement in and around education. Overcoming the framing which is at the heart of the attack -- the false opposition of "vocational education" and "liberal arts and civic education" is key to building the power of this movement. Even the most insightful books from the democratic movement in education such as the new Dilemmas of Educational Ethics tend to reproduce the distinction. We need to claim our work as educational professional as public work, full of civic and democratic possibilities.

November 23, 2016

Pedagogy of the Empowered

Agency is not the same as activism. Civic agency is the capacity to work across differences on common problems and creation of common things including communities, and, broadly, democracy as a way of life. Schools -- and other educational institutions -- need to develop pedagogies of empowerment that teach the skills and habits of civic agency. This is the foundation for democracy.

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