Advancing Democracy Through Education?

Advancing Democracy Through Education?

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The creation of the United States of America launched the modern wave of democracy, which has spread like a contagion around the world. So pervasive and successful has this set of political arrangements been that even dictators feel compelled to mimic its forms, holding sham elections to legitimize their authority. In the early 21st century, the U.S. government has made the promotion of democracy a central focus of its foreign policy. Yet democratic systems flourish only with democratic citizens. The collapse of the Soviet bloc, which freed hundreds of millions from dysfunctional communist regimes, did not lead, through some natural transition, to consolidated democracies in many post-communist societies. Peoples must become democratic as well. Events ranging from the end of the Cold War to the attacks of September 11th have spurred huge investments in citizenship education abroad while spurring renewed interest at home. Successful promotion of effective democratic educational forms and practices could be America's most valuable export. But how effective has this massive effort been, and what cultural assumptions does it entail? America's massive investment in citizenship education. Within the U.S., school-based civic education programs must compete for influence with the divergent socialization processes offered by different cultural contexts and institutional settings. In addition, numerous governmental and non-governmental groups have become involved with the promotion of democracy and citizenship through education in foreign countries, with different approaches and agendas, some of which are unwelcome or even inappropriate for the contexts they enter. Internationally, these attempts to promote democratic education collide with unforeseen obstacles and unfamiliar cultures. This volume of original research essays explores some of the many diverse cultures and institutions that support or challenge the American promotion of education for democracy. This volume brings together researchers, activists, journalists and practitioners from the United States and abroad to explore the challenges of promoting democratic citizenship around the world.attracted prominent writers and led, in the case of Condorcet, to a famous treatise on the American Revolution. ... The substance of the APS education essay contest reflected concerns throughout Europe and America. Benjamin Rush wroteanbsp;...

Title:Advancing Democracy Through Education?
Author:Doyle Stevick, Bradley A. Levinson
Publisher:IAP - 2008


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