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ERIC Number: EJ984436
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0895-4852
Civic Literacy
Bauerlein, Mark
Academic Questions, v25 n3 p328-333 Sep 2012
There are so many generous and high-sounding phrases and ambitions in "A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy's Future," the report by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), that to criticize them almost seems bilious and misanthropic. "A Crucible Moment," too, grounds its recommendations in measures of civic ignorance such as National Assessment of Educational Progress civics exams, the Civic Literacy Test (Intercollegiate Studies Institute), and surveys by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, results that cross ideological lines. It insists on "foundational knowledge about fundamental principles" and "[f]amiliarity with key democratic texts", goals a conservative and a liberal may both embrace. Reading further, however, one finds that when the report clarifies those goals, a narrow ideological outlook on civic knowledge and engagement emerges. The authors of "A Crucible Moment" advocate civic education as the facilitation of predetermined goals and rules out others in its very premises, thereby betraying one of the first principles of citizenship in a healthy republic: heed the other side, and engage its best expressions before one chooses where to stand. In this article, the author argues that the Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement and the AAC&U don't operate that way--or they don't recognize that their understanding of civic learning is partisan and tendentious at the root. (Contains 4 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress