<< The Body Politic

Boot camp for citizens

Friday, December 9th, 2011

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Peter Berkowitz reviews Teaching America, a collection of essays on the need for civic education, edited by Program friend David Feith:

The case for civic education—what might have been called “civics” in an earlier generation—is straightforward. Just as, say, doctors who receive defective medical training will be handicapped in the performance of their professional tasks, so too citizens whose civic education is lacking will be less than competent as members of an extended political community. Studying the Constitution—not to mention American political ideas and institutions—can help us all to exercise our rights and respect the rights of others and to weigh the merit of contending policies. More generally, as Mr. Feith notes, civic education can nourish a common culture by showing that partisan disputes often reflect conflicting interpretations of a shared commitment to freedom and equality.

Learn more about David’s work, and his new partnership with Democracy Prep Public Schools, at the Teaching America website.