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ERIC Number: ED403201
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Oct
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The Implications of the Individualism/Communitarian Debate for Civic Education: Observations and Prejudices.
Smith, Duane E.
This paper evaluates how civic education in the United States currently is impacted by the competing theories of individualism ("liberalism") and communitarianism. Each theory's intellectual history and meaning is explained briefly. The implications of the "debate between the defenders of liberalism and their communitarian critics for civic education," although few, include: educators' excessive concern for the affairs of the community ("mandatory voluntary community service" school programs); students' ability to evaluate liberal and communitarian claims (responsibility of citizenship); students' comprehension of democratic theory and the history of democratic practice; students' behavior in terms of the requirements of basic civility and responsibility (be on time, do homework, treat others with respect); and students' awareness of and desire to experience life's possibilities (including political involvement). Comparing democracy to the theater, civic educators need to prepare their students of democratic politics, when not acting, to be an audience of "enlightened and critical viewers, readers, and listeners" who attend most (but not necessarily all) political performances. (CB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A