ERIC Number: EJ794915
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Reference Count: 0
Signs of Progress: The Debate over Civic Education
Galston, William A.
Theory and Research in Education, v4 n3 p329-337 2006
In this reply to my critics, I begin by clearing away some misunderstandings: I do not reject autonomy and critical self-reflection as possible bases for political judgment and action; I do not dissent from the standard view that some civic education should be mandatory; and I claim neither that each citizen need possess civic virtue nor that there is a one-size-fits-all conception of pro-civic traits within a liberal society. I do endorse the idea of a "civic core"--beliefs, skills and traits of character that ideally every citizen would possess. I then distinguish civic from philosophic education, characterize liberal civic virtues as instrumentally rather than intrinsically valuable, and clarify the relation between these virtues and the idea of limited government that lies at the heart of liberalism. I defend my account of civic education against the claims that it cannot justify citizens' resistance to unjust or immoral government policies and that it safeguards neither the basic needs nor the meaningful exit rights of children. I conclude by distinguishing between parental influence over children, on the one hand, and brainwashing on the other; the latter warrants external intervention, while the former does not.
Descriptors: Citizenship Education, Civics, Parent Influence, Moral Values, Values, Education, Political Attitudes, Government Role, Court Litigation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
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