David Randall Concludes his Conversation in Education Week with Harry Boyte

National Association of Scholars

Harry Boyte, whom we have criticized in Making Citizens for founding Public Achievement, invited Making Citizens author David Randall to join him and Deborah Meier in an online conversation at Education Week. We welcome the chance for discussion, and David's third and final contribution is now posted online—for free, but you need to register to read the article.

Here is an excerpt from his article:

The phrase “experiential education,” like some of the other key words in this debate, is open to mischievous interpretations.  If it means ‘what we best learn through experience, as opposed to formal instruction,’ I would agree that experiential education is fundamental.  But if it means, ‘learning through the experiences organized and controlled by teachers and social activists,’ I would strongly disagree, because such organizing and controlling compromise the essential freedom of young people to learn for themselves lessons that in their very nature belong to the autonomy of free individuals.  Those experiences should be outside state or quasi-state control.  The New Civics transgresses the boundaries of personal freedom and, in that sense, undermines the spirit of democratic participation in our society.  

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