April 13, 2012
Why Civics Class Should Be Sexy

In most classrooms where civics is still being taught today, something central is missing. Students get facts and explanations of process. Sometimes they get a real encounter with an issue like poverty or sustainability. What they almost never get is this: a systematic understanding of how to get what they want.
I propose to revive civics by making it squarely about the thing people are too often afraid to talk about in schools: power, and the ways it is won and wielded in a democracy.
Imagine a curriculum that taught students how to be powerful — not only to feel empowered but to be fluent in the language of power and facile in its exercise.
It would teach them that civic power — the capacity to effect desired outcomes in common life - can derive from ideas, wealth, status, charisma, collective voice, and control of violence. It would show how power throughout our country’s history has been exercised and justified, for good and for ill.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

Why Civics Class Should Be Sexy

In most classrooms where civics is still being taught today, something central is missing. Students get facts and explanations of process. Sometimes they get a real encounter with an issue like poverty or sustainability. What they almost never get is this: a systematic understanding of how to get what they want.

I propose to revive civics by making it squarely about the thing people are too often afraid to talk about in schools: power, and the ways it is won and wielded in a democracy.

Imagine a curriculum that taught students how to be powerful — not only to feel empowered but to be fluent in the language of power and facile in its exercise.

It would teach them that civic power — the capacity to effect desired outcomes in common life - can derive from ideas, wealth, status, charisma, collective voice, and control of violence. It would show how power throughout our country’s history has been exercised and justified, for good and for ill.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

12:07pm
  
Filed under: Education School Civics History 
  1. decause reblogged this from theatlantic
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  8. normalschool reblogged this from revolutionizeed and added:
    Given my current job, this is relevant to my interests.
  9. mellymouse reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    i would actually be really into teaching civics but i dont think they would let me.
  10. prenostalgia reblogged this from theatlantic
  11. coordinatingcardigans reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Definitely keeping this aside as a future Social Studies teacher!
  12. nomoretexasgovernorsforpresident reblogged this from theatlantic
  13. korynplunket reblogged this from revolutionizeed and added:
    Knowledge is power. Power is sexy.
  14. msleahqueenhbic reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    I’m excited about this because this is what I’m writing my history and philosophy of education paper on. Even though I’m...
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