Call For Civic Learning

Glenn Ricketts

That’s the title of this piece posted today over at IHE, announcing the release of a new report tasking American higher education with bolstering “civic learning and democratic engagement.” The report, A Crucible Moment, was commissioned in 2010 by the US Department of Education, prepared by the National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement, and is being presented today at the White House.

You can access the full text here. Do have a look. In the minds of the authors, “civic engagement” is important enough to be integrated through the entire curriculum, not confined to a single course or left as optional.

Your reaction will depend on how you understand “civic learning” and “democratic engagement.” I’d like to think that I promote those very things in my American Government and Politics course. Students should indeed know who their legislative representatives at all levels of government are, how the president is elected, that it is Congress and not the President which has the power to declare war, that car insurance rates are not set by the federal government, etc. They should also have a good basic grasp of American history, some comparative perspective with other political systems and how democracies survive or perish.

But given the current lopsided ideological imbalance in the academy, and the report’s frequent references to “systemic change,” “social justice,” and “global interdependence,” I’m pretty sure what “civic engagement” is likely to consist of on most campuses. It doesn’t much resemble my approach.

  • Share

Most Commented

July 16, 2020

1.

An Emeritus Professor Under Siege Once Again

The case of Stuart Hurlbert is a grim reminder that not even emeritus professors are safe from the continual onslaught of heterodox views by higher ed censors....

June 15, 2020

2.

See Clearly, Decide Wisely, Act Justly

An Open Letter to the Converse College Community in response to its administrative decisions relating to diversity and inclusion on campus. ...

July 28, 2020

3.

Exclusive: UT Austin Proposes Political Litmus Tests for Hiring and Promotion

The University of Texas at Austin has proposed the “Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Strategic Plan," exchanging merit-based success for identity-based dive...

Most Read

May 15, 2015

1.

Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....

July 28, 2020

2.

Exclusive: UT Austin Proposes Political Litmus Tests for Hiring and Promotion

The University of Texas at Austin has proposed the “Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Strategic Plan," exchanging merit-based success for identity-based dive...

July 16, 2020

3.

An Emeritus Professor Under Siege Once Again

The case of Stuart Hurlbert is a grim reminder that not even emeritus professors are safe from the continual onslaught of heterodox views by higher ed censors....