Is Civic Education Dead?


Civic education has taken various forms throughout U.S. history, but it has frequently sought to promote national pride. Today, such education is being questioned, as teachers and writers push for a frank reckoning with the nation's past. Where does this leave us? Should we be trying to reinvent civic education to make it more honest and uncomfortable? Or should we consider dispensing with it? This track paper argues that "culture wars: over civic education are useful because they foreground the importance of civic values. Although broad agreement on such values seems fanciful, it is not impossible, and universities can play a key role in cultivating common ground. However, I argue that this potentially constructive role is not being fulfilled, particularly when it comes to creating a culture of free debate. The burden thus falls on faculty to take up this crucial civic cause.



Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting and Discussion Policy [opens in a new tab] – please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .