Educating for Democracy: Preparing Undergraduates for Responsible Political Engagement / Edition 1

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Educating for Democracy

Most educators recognize the importance of preparing studentsfor responsible citizenship. But how can academic institutionseducate for political understanding and engagement when there is somuch material to cover, so many intellectual skills and capacitiesto build, and so little time to accomplish these goals?

Educating for Democracy reports the results of the PoliticalEngagement Project, a study of educational practices at the collegelevel that prepare students for responsible democraticparticipation. In this book, coauthors Anne Colby, ElizabethBeaumont, Thomas Ehrlich, and Josh Corngold show that education forpolitical development can increase students' politicalunderstanding, skill, motivation, and involvement whilecontributing to many aspects of general academic learning.

Drawing on both quantitative and qualitative data from thePolitical Engagement Project, Educating for Democracy articulateswhat it means to teach effectively for political learning withoutimposing particular ideologies on students. The book presents theauthors' well-reasoned argument for the importance of educating fordemocratic participation and offers practical and much-neededguidelines for faculty and administrators who want to help theirstudents become more fully engaged in political life.

Educating for Democracy suggests five pedagogical strategiesthat have proven to be effective for supporting college students'political development including political discussion anddeliberation, political research and action projects, invitedspeakers and program-affiliated mentors, external placements, andstructured reflection. These teaching strategies can bespecifically tailored for courses in many disciplines, supportingboth political learning and other substantive goals of the course.In addition, the book contains practical advice on how to increasethe likelihood that the political learning achieved in college willlast beyond graduation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The book is superbly designed and organized, and very wellwritten. It is scholarly, examining the foundational, theoretical,and conceptual issues surrounding college-level education forpolitical learning. It is challenging, discussing central goals inpolitical development that higher education administrators andfaculty should address. It is helpful to scholarly practitioners,focusing on key pedagogical strategies of teaching for politicallearning. And it provides a treasure of lessons learned, both inthe narrative chapters and in the appendix of creatively designedcourses and programs.” —Raymond D. Vlasin,Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Michigan State University, forJournal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, Volume13, Number 1

Educating for Democracy [offers] not only a visionbut an incisive program of political engagement poised to addressthe concerns of disengaged youth. The principal motivation for thebook is that undergraduate education is one of the most valuablevenues to address political engagement.... Colby, Beaumont,Ehrlich, and Corngold make a persuasive case that the undergraduateexperience provides a significant pathway to political engagementthat has the promise to shift the political discourse for themillennial generation.” —Dilafruz R. Williams,professor of Educational Policy, Foundations, and AdministrativeStudies, Portland State University, for Michigan Journal ofCommunity Service Learning, Spring 2008

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Product Details

Meet the Author

The Authors

Anne Colby is a senior scholar at The Carnegie Foundation forthe Advancement of Teaching.

Elizabeth Beaumont is assistant professor of political scienceat the University of Minnesota.

Thomas Ehrlich is a senior scholar at The Carnegie Foundationfor the Advancement of Teaching.

Josh Corngold is a doctoral student in the philosophy ofeducation at Stanford University.

Anne Colby, Thomas Ehrlich, and Elizabeth Beaumont, along withJason Stephens, are the coauthors of Educating Citizens, publishedby Jossey-Bass in 2003.

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Table of Contents



The Authors.


1. Citizenship, Politics, and Civic Engagement.

2. The Role of Higher Education In Preparing Citizens.

3. The Open Inquiry Imperative.

4. Creating Environments of Open Inquiry.

5. Teaching for Political Knowledge and Understanding.

6. Teaching Democratic Participation Skills.

7. Fostering Political Motivation.

8. Learning Through Discussion and Deliberation.

9. Learning Through Political Research and Action Projects.

10. Learning Through Speakers and Mentors.

11. Learning Through Placements, Internships, and ServiceLearning.

12. Learning Through Structured Reflection.

13. Putting the Pieces Together.

Appendix A: Course and Program Summaries.

Appendix B: Survey Scales and Results.



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