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.
Recently in public work Category
March 28, 2017
February 24, 2017
Can the charter movement offer progressive alternatives to traditional public schools, as it once did? Deborah Meier considers.
February 09, 2017
It is an ineluctable dynamic that when one polarizes, one purifies. This means eliminating the complexity of "the other side" that one sees as the enemy. In my view this is a serious problem of the National Association of Scholars report, "Making Citizens." It collapses the vast diversity of the civic engagement movement into a left wing conspiracy undertaken with stealth and subterfuge. This is a caricature. Nonviolence as a philosophy brought together with repair of civic life points beyond today's polarization. We need a reawakening to nonviolence tied to repair of civic life.
February 02, 2017
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 19, 2017
Service learning and student organizing can provide students with connections and channels to become active citizens, writes Deborah Meier.
January 05, 2017
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.
December 01, 2016
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.