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ERIC Number: EJ820127
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Feb
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 104
ISSN: ISSN-1551-2169
Civic Theater for Civic Education
Bray, Bernard L.; Chappell, Larry W.
Journal of Political Science Education, v1 n1 p83-108 Feb 2005
This study illustrates the special value of theater for conducting civic education. It begins by identifying the features of good citizenship in the United States. Citizenship in America includes rights, interests, affections, duties, and virtues. We focus on one duty, civic respect, and the virtue most necessary to meet that duty--civic attention. Unless citizens pay respectful attention to one another, some will be left in civic bondage--voiceless in the political community or consigned to second-class citizenship. One remedy to the problem of civic bondage is civic education that teaches civic respect through civic attention. We argue that two basic pedagogical strategies are required to teach civic attention: (1) civic hermeneutics (interpreting other citizens with the aim of granting them civic respect) and (2) civic staging (organizing public space to allow citizens to better communicate). We then argue that theater--including classical and experimental varieties--is especially valuable for teaching civic attention. Theater is uniquely valuable for understanding, criticizing, problematizing, practicing, transforming and even for resisting politics. The quality of our political lives can be dramatically improved by careful attention learned through civic theater. (Contains 26 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A