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February 21, 2017

Beyond 'Civics' Vs. 'Citizenship': Possibilities for Common Ground

The recent Making Citizens report is mistaken about the youth civic education initiative Public Achievement -- it reflects itself the mobilizing, good versus evil approach which has come to dominate public life in our time, the approach to politics it also decries. The debate has also illuminated possible common ground to integrate civics and citizenship education and move beyond binary thinking.

February 02, 2017

Active Citizenship Should Be Learned Out of School

In this posting, David Randall, author of Making Citizens: How American Universities Teach Civics, argues that civic life in America has benefited by abundant forms of civic participation and active citizenship is a welcome part of public life, but it doesn't belong in schools. Teachers cannot include civic practice since all are equally qualified to act as citizens by virtue of turning 18.

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?

January 05, 2017

Putting the Public Back in Public Education—From Protest to Public-Making

Privatization of higher education -- from the Trump education team and other forces - feeds on private processes. To reverse the trends we need to put the public back in public education, broadly defined.

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.

November 22, 2016

Schools as Foundations of Democracy

Schools can play a powerful role in creating foundations of democratic thinking among students, writes Deborah Meier.

November 17, 2016

Remembering our Roots—Democracy of the People

The most important task after this dismal election is to remember the idea that animated America's founding --- democracy is people-centered, not politician-centered. Building foundations for this idea through people-owned schools -- free spaces -- which bring people together across partisan and other divides is a crucial task.

November 15, 2016

The Tough Road Ahead

In the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, democracy in schools is more important than ever in the effort to win over Trump supporters on the part of those who didn't support the Republican candidate, writes Deb Meier.

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.

November 01, 2016

Education and the Power of Memory

Education has a crucial role to play in launching a "campaign to remember" stories of agency, or popular empowerment, like the common school movement and many others. It also has the capacity to play such a role. This need is vivid illustrated by the election. People have forgotten that "we the people" created the nation itself, in a fight against a king.

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