Administrators of Teachers’ Colleges to persuade them to include Civics in the curriculum in all teacher training programmer. Welcome: good afternoon presidents, vice presidents and teacher it is great to have you all at our annual teachers’ forum. Today I will synthesize the administrators of the teachers’ colleges to reintroduce civics in the curriculum in the teacher training program. What do you know about civics education? Let me briefly define what civics education is. Civic Education in a democracy is education in self-government.
Democratic self-government means that citizens are actively involved in their own governance; they do not Just passively accept the dictums of others or acquiesce to the demands of others. As Aristotle put it in his Politics (c 340 SC), “If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost. ” In other words, the ideals of democracy are most completely realized when every member of the political community shares in its governance. Today many things have changed in society where children are concerned.
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The schools were seen as rigor and teachers were looked upon. Thanks for those good old days. Colleges then didn’t coddle students. The colleges preserved its right to “direct the conduct and studies of the youth and to restrain them from such liberties and indulgences as would tend to corrupt their morals or alienate their minds from steady application. ” And steady application was De rogue. At five o’clock each morning, a bell rang to awaken students. They went to morning prayer and then tidied for an hour-??all before breakfast. Studies continued throughout the day punctuated by group meals which were a requirement.
Professors and even the College president were obliged to eat with the students to insure that their minds were nourished along with their bodies. By nine o’clock, students were consigned to their own rooms for further study or to sleep. Given this evidence of decline, many contend that, if blame is to be laid anywhere, it must be at the doorsteps of the nation’s schools and universities. They have failed, critics allege, to fulfill their civic session and to prepare their students to be informed and effective citizens. This afternoon I propose that we test the truth or falsity of the critics’ allegations by considering three questions: 1 .
What do we now know about the status of civic education in the nation’s schools? 2. What does research tell us about civic education practices and programs that foster the knowledge, skills, and civic dispositions essential for all citizens of a constitutional democracy? 3. How can we go about improving civic education and why is it imperative that we do so? What We Know About the Current Status of Civic Education One of the most important things that we know about civic education is that Americans profess it to be an essential-??if not the essential-??purpose of education.
Over the course of 33 years of Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup polling, Americans have Civics speech By Learners overwhelmingly concurred that “educating young people tort responsible citizenship” should be the primary goal of our schools. Their conviction that the school’s central mission is educating young people for citizenship has not wavered over time, and it obtains whether or not respondents have children in school or whether or not their children are in public or private school. It is also important to note, that the need of civic education is not only recognized by the elder generations of Americans.
In a 2002 survey, young people supported mandatory civics classes in middle and high schools by very large margins. It is a paradox that at the same time that Americans of all ages acknowledge the primacy of civic education, it is being given less and less attention in our schools. Time does not permit citing of the abundant evidence of the rent neglect of education for citizenship. But let me at least draw your attention to a few salient facts. Now let’s turn to what research tells us about two major deficiencies in current courses in civics and government.
The first deficiency-??and it is a very serious one-??is the lack of understanding at a sufficiently deep level of the fundamental principles and major tenets of democracy and constitutionalism. Such knowledge and understanding is foundational, because it is the precursor to a citizen’s reasoned and voluntary commitment to democratic norms, procedures, and outcomes. A citizen who understands the essential tenets of democracy is more likely to recognize that he has a shared interest, a collective interest that may sometimes contradict or override his own individual preferences.
That citizen also is more committed to procedural fairness and he exhibits a willingness to allow others-?? including those with whom he most strongly disagrees-??to express and pursue their own interests. Some scholars claim that knowledge of the values and principles of democracy may be the most significant component of education for democratic thespians, because when democratic norms are well understood they may have a kind of “grip on the mind” that makes them operate at a deeply internalized if not unconscious level.
One of the challenges civic educators face is how to help not only the young but adult citizens as well develop a more realistic understanding of today’s world and why the manner in which complex and manifold global problems are addressed affects them. It is beyond the scope of this presentation to discuss what adjustments need to be made in the school’s curriculum. How Can We Go About Improving Civic Education? One of the most promising avenues for improving civic education for all young people is for scholars and practitioners to work together.
There are at least three proven ways in which scholars can and should collaborate with practitioners: First, they can Join forces to produce quality curriculum materials. Second, scholars are essential to the professional development of teachers. They should use their expertise to help teachers expand their substantive knowledge to acquaint them with new research and to deepen their understanding of and insights into the subjects they teach. Third, scholars can act as public advocates for more and better civic education.
Education Minister Ronald Theists deserves commendation for reintroducing the subject and teaching of civics as part of the school curriculum. He noted that civics was about knowledge development and acquiring a heightened appreciation for their significance, as well as knowing the appropriate manner Witt which to treat them. For even though we were fun-loving kids, with greater interest in a game of soccer than in sitting through a lecture on constitutional rights, or learning about national humbly; we readily understood, for instance, the reasons for standing at attention and with heads uncovered when the national anthem was being played.
We knew not to desecrate the national flag by letting it touch the ground while being unfurled, or tying it on to car bumpers, or rolling it up then sticking it into our back pockets like a little piece of over-used “nose cloth”. Civics, when merged with social studies, focused on social skills such as cultivating good manners, brotherhood, sisterhood and maintaining peace. And so, a team of policemen, including the inspector of Alice, would visit our school to teach proper road use and discipline.
Representatives from the Social Development Commission would also visit to teach the soft social skills such as how to defuse tension by insisting that “howdy and teeny nun Burk nun square” True, the golden age was never this one, but as scholars and practitioners we can and must work together to at least brighten the aura of civic education in our own time, because nothing less than the maintenance and improvement of our constitutional democracy is at stake.