Transformative Civic Education in Democratic Societies
Transformations in Higher Education
Published by: Michigan State University Press
Imprint: Michigan State University Press
Sales Date: 2023-08-01
Democracy is neither inevitable nor guaranteed to last. To survive, democracy needs people adequately prepared to enact it. Such preparation for effective citizenship in a complex and plural world requires an adult civic education, one that goes beyond simple knowledge acquisition. It requires a transformative education to help learners become agents and co-shapers of their worlds. This book offers examples of the roles that civic education has played and can play in different communities. In this collection, scholars from around the world report and reflect on civic adult education, examining approaches, paradigms, and concepts that help us to act in culturally, ethnically, linguistically, and religiously diverse societies.
This timely, wide-ranging volume reminds us that democracy requires intentional, lifelong learning and practice. It will be a valuable scholarly resource for civic educators and researchers who seek to study, understand, and apply active forms of civic education to support and sustain democratic values and skills. The chapters cover a broad range of theory and applied examples from around the world regarding the why, what, and how of adult civic education.
—Jonathan R. Alger, president, James Madison University
This important and timely book takes a comprehensive look at the purpose, role, and impact of civic engagement on the development, attainment, and retention of stable democracies. The variety of contributing authors in this text take incisive examinations of civic engagement in a variety of global contexts and deftly confront the ways in which an understanding of the political, social, and economic environs contribute to our ability to develop new paradigms for civic learning and democratic engagement. The text further elucidates the ways in which an educated citizenry is one of the biggest assets any evolved society can offer to the world in an effort to maintain peace, order, and stability. These various arguments and positions also make it clear to the reader that a postsecondary education is not a “nice-to-have,” but a “must-have” for nations seeking to constructively advance democratic ideals and promulgate a civil society through adult and traditional learners’ exposure to diverse people, cultures, languages, and ideals.
—Yolanda Watson Spiva, president, Complete College America, co-author of Daring to Educate: The Legacy of the Early Spelman College Presidents, and contributing author to Recognizing Promise: The Role of Community Colleges in a Post Pandemic World
The book is an impressive testimony of the importance of democratic, civic adult education in times of increasing authoritarianism. The editors present a wide variety of theoretical and practical contributions that will inspire a broad readership of educators and educationalists all over the world.
—Danny Widemeersch, professor emeritus of social and cultural pedagogy at KU Leuven (Belgium)