|Teaching Civic Engagement Globally is the result of collaborative work spanning scholars from multiple disciplines, fields, and careers. Political scientists, educators, and students have joined to produce important, timely research.|
Chapter 11: Can We Get an Upgrade? How Two College Campuses Are Building the Democracy We Aspire to Be
by Suzanne M. Chod, North Central College, Abraham Goldberg, James Madison University, William Muck, North Central College, Dena Pastor, James Madison University and Carah Ong Whaley, James Madison University
The chapter addresses how a small private liberal arts college in a major metropolitan area, North Central College, and a large comprehensive university in a rural area of the United States, James Madison University, advance and assess civic learning and engagement initiatives at a time when democracy is threatened. While the institutions have taken different paths to achieve the same end goal of developing a more robust and healthy civil society on campus, these case studies suggest that institutions should not shy away from embracing politics or discussing challenging political issues. Institutions should seek to cultivate a campus climate that embraces political learning and engagement in and out of the classroom.
The authors argue that no matter the size, structure, or study body, cultivating and fostering civic mindedness is paramount to a functioning, healthy, and equitable civic society. Though not solely the job of political scientists, it is incumbent upon political science departments to form cross-campus partnerships to create interdisciplinary, intersectional civic education and engagement programming and experiences for all students to develop knowledge, skills, dispositions and agency. Initiatives must focus on the historically exclusionary nature of democracy in the United States in order to create a more inclusive democracy, as opposed to reinforcing privilege. With continual assessment and institutional support and resources, colleges and universities can lead the way in helping young people find their place in an increasingly complex world. The call to educate and engage for a just democracy has never been louder, and as such, should be at the heart of what we do on our campuses.
About Teaching Civic Engagement Globally
Educators around the globe are facing challenges in teaching politics in an era in which populist values are on the rise, authoritarian governance is legitimized, and core democratic tenets are regularly undermined. To combat anti-democratic outcomes and citizens’ apathy, Teaching Civic Engagement Globally provides a wide range of pedagogical tools to help the current generation learn to effectively navigate debates and lead changes in local, national, and global politics. Contributors discuss key theoretical discussions and challenges regarding global civic engagement education, highlight successful evidence-based pedagogical approaches, and review effective ways to reach across disciplines and the global education community.