Teaching Civic Engagement Across the Disciplines
For a democracy to function effectively, its citizens must participate. Furthermore, these same citizens must deliberate effectively, engage with one another, and arrive at workable compromises. Although these skills are critical for a vibrant society, the means to learn and develop them is lacking in American education today. Teaching Civic Engagement Across the Disciplines evaluates the goals, challenges, and rewards of integrating civic education into the curriculum, highlighting best practices across disciplines and campuses.
Teaching Civic Engagement Across the Disciplines provides supplementary materials and serves as an ongoing resource for educators dedicated to preparing students to be active participants in the democratic process.
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Talking Politics: Creating a Course for Incoming Freshman on Political Discussion
Efforts to teach civic engagement address not only students’ political knowledge but also their skills and dispositions. Although the scholarship of teaching and learning has explored the role of political discussion in the pre-college classroom extensively, attention to the topic at the college-level has been limited. Given the challenges campuses currently face regarding freedom of expression, there is value in featuring political discussion in college instruction. In this paper, we share our experiences in creating and piloting a one-credit course for incoming freshmen entitled “Talking Politics: Disagreeing Without Being Disagreeable”. Learning objectives, course content, and assessment tools are outlined as well as our plans to enhance future iterations. We hold that learning to “talk politics” with those who disagree with us is a core democratic skill and that this course offers a promising approach to imparting this skill.
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