|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.|
by B. Philipp Kleer and Johannes Diesing, Justus-Liebig University of Giessen
Schools and teachers are essential to nurturing political interest, democratic understanding, and political knowledge of students and young citizens. For this task, teachers themselves need to be politically interested, knowledgeable, and supportive of fundamental political values. This chapter explored the importance and necessity of civic education of pre-service teachers at universities regarding the special German regulations – the Beutelsbacher Consensus. With the Beutelsbacher Consensus, Germany is unique in its expectation that teachers of all disciplines participate in teaching democratic citizenship. We examined the political knowledge, political interest, and support for pre-service teachers’ political values and paid interest in possible differences between politics and non-politics pre-service teachers. In addition, we examined which recent tasks current teaching staff sees concerning their colleagues’ involvement in civic education. Our analysis showed that pre-service teachers differ in their political knowledge and political interest levels depending on their subjects.
Furthermore, we showed that some support authoritarian government modes and neglect general political values such as gender equality and free elections. In the group discussion, the current teaching staff suggested possible challenges for teachers. They highlighted that non-politics teachers need specific training regarding the inclusion of civic education into non-politics subjects such as biology, physical education, or math. Overall our analysis emphasized that particular attention must be paid to increasing knowledge about political institutions, processes, and parties, arousing pre-service teachers’ interest in political events, and fostering an awareness of the relevance of civic education across all subjects of teaching. Teacher education is an oft-forgotten but much-needed means to preserve and maintain democracy since schools are essential agents in political socialization.
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.