October 9, 2013
The Shutdown is Teaching Students How Not to Run a Country

With the partial shutdown of the federal government well into its second week, it’s reasonable to ask what lessons students might be absorbing from the actions of Congress—or lack thereof. Peter Levine, director of the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University, told me the political stalemate might translate into a short-term “teachable moment” for a class on government. But in the long run, it’s a less-than-ideal curriculum.
“What we’re seeing now is so at odds with what we teach in civics classes that it’s going to cause cognitive dissonance,” Levine said. He added that students already know there’s a disconnect between what they’re being taught about how U.S. government is supposed to function and the realities of current events. And the shutdown only contributes to that gap, he added.
Read more. [Image: Evan Vucci/AP Photo]

The Shutdown is Teaching Students How Not to Run a Country

With the partial shutdown of the federal government well into its second week, it’s reasonable to ask what lessons students might be absorbing from the actions of Congress—or lack thereof. Peter Levine, director of the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University, told me the political stalemate might translate into a short-term “teachable moment” for a class on government. But in the long run, it’s a less-than-ideal curriculum.

“What we’re seeing now is so at odds with what we teach in civics classes that it’s going to cause cognitive dissonance,” Levine said. He added that students already know there’s a disconnect between what they’re being taught about how U.S. government is supposed to function and the realities of current events. And the shutdown only contributes to that gap, he added.

Read more. [Image: Evan Vucci/AP Photo]

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