Developing Democratic Character in the Young

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9780787956851: Developing Democratic Character in the Young

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How are students going to function effectively in a democratic society? This collection of original essays outlines the critical role of our schools in helping create the conditions necessary for a democracy--and helping create in students the characteristics or dispositions critical to maintaining a democracy.

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How are students going to function effectively in a democratic society? This collection of original essays outlines the critical role of our schools in helping create the conditions necessary for a democracy—and helping create in students the characteristics or dispositions critical to maintaining a democracy. Scholars from diverse disciplines—including anthropology, education, psychology, political science, and history—examine the challenges to our democracy, the importance of education, and the implications for teaching students from the elementary to the college level. They show how schools have been impeded by a narrow agenda that favors private-business interests and why they need a broader public mission aimed at promoting our social, cultural, and ecological well-being. They explain how schools can play a more effective role in engaging students on issues of governance and citizenship. And they reveal why bolstering democratic institutions is essential to this process?and how this commitment can be reflected in our educational policies, structures, curricula, and teaching practices. Developing Democratic Character in the Young, along with its companion volume, The Last Best Hope: A Democracy Reader, offers an important and long-overdue examination of the connections between youths, democratic character, and education?and how our schools can become more directly involved in maintaining the health of our democracy. THE EDITORS Roger Soder is senior associate of the Center for Educational Renewal at the University of Washington and vice president of the Institute for Educational Inquiry in Seattle. John I. Goodlad is president of the Institute for Educational Inquiry and professor emeritus of the University of Washington. Timothy J. McMannon is an instructor at Highline Community College, and senior associate at the Institute for Educational Inquiry.

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What should schools and universities be teaching about democracy? "This is the one book on education to read now. Provocative essays launch critical issues that are widely ignored in the standard `education reform' and `character education' literatures. John Goodlad and his colleagues continue to push the boundaries of what it can mean to have public schools in democracy. Ecological understanding is brought, at last, to the forefront of thinking about education such that democratic character and our tenuous democratic experiment cannot be comprehended without it." —Walter Parker, professor of education, University of Washington "Thoughtful and thought provoking, Developing Democratic Character in the Young reminds us that one of the most important reasons for public education is to preserve and strengthen our democracy." —Anne L. Bryant, executive director, National School Boards Association " 'Freedom can be won, but democracy must be learned' is an often-heard lament among patriots in the newly independent former communist states in Eastern Europe. By the same logic, maintaining democracy also hinges on learning and our public schools. Developing Democratic Character in the Young points to promising directions for achieving the key mission of America's society and public schools." —Adam Urbanski, president, Rochester (N.Y.) Teachers Association, and a vice president of the American Federation of Teachers "This book articulates how educators can help make the connections of community to the school in a relevant and authentic way. Developing Democratic Character in the Young deserves the thoughtful attention of educational theorists, practitioners, and policymakers." —Viola E. Florez, professor and dean, College of Education, University of New Mexico

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Roger Soder (editor), John I. Goodlad (editor), Timothy J. McMannon (editor)
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