Civics Citizenship

Citizenship under Fire: Democratic Education in Times of by Sigal R. Ben-Porath

By Sigal R. Ben-Porath

Citizenship less than hearth examines the connection between civic schooling, the tradition of conflict, and the search for peace. Drawing on examples from Israel and the U.S., Sigal Ben-Porath seeks to appreciate how principles approximately citizenship swap while a rustic is at battle, and what educators can do to avoid the most destructive of those changes.Perhaps the main worrisome one, Ben-Porath contends, is a growing to be emphasis in faculties and in other places on social conformity, on tendentious educating of heritage, and on drawing stark differences among them and us. As she writes, "The various features of citizenship in occasions of struggle and peace upload as much as a contrast among belligerent citizenship, that's average of democracies in wartime, and the liberal democratic citizenship that's attribute of extra peaceable democracies."Ben-Porath examines how numerous theories of education--principally peace schooling, feminist schooling, and multicultural education--speak to the precise demanding situations of wartime. She argues that none of those theories are passable on their lonesome theoretical phrases or may translate simply into perform. within the ultimate bankruptcy, she lays out her personal substitute theory--"expansive education"--which she believes holds out extra promise of widening the circles of participation in colleges, extending the scope of permissible debate, and diversifying the questions requested in regards to the reviews voiced.

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Textbooks take a while to catch up with the public expectations, but as the Israeli case demonstrates, they too can grow in time to reflect the demand for a unified, narrow form of patriotism. In the United States, World War II prompted the creation of the Victory Corps, which was responsible for providing preinduction education to high school youth before they graduated. The Educational Policies Commission of the National Education Association proclaimed that “the war must profoundly modify the entire program of secondary education.

One study concluded that after the attacks, Americans were “rallying around each other, concerned and even distrustful of some groups of foreigners. ”22 In addition, the suppression of deviating opinions was clearly seen in the 18 C I T I Z E N S H I P I N WA R T I M E American public sphere after September 11. 26 Some evidence for valuing patriotic unity over free speech could be found in the academic world. ”28 The criticism of the war in Iraq intensified as the war turned into a protracted conflict and as it became apparent that the reasons the administration offered the public for going to war were faulty, and that the preparation for the phase of “winning the peace” or nation-building was lacking at best.

Rather, the cure must be the continual, institutional commitment to diversity, debate, and challenges to “evident” views. This aim can most significantly be supported by a civic education committed to active engagement and participation in the construction of national affiliation as shared fate. Conceptualizing citizenship as membership in a community of shared fate carries some valuable implications. Most notably it supports an ahierarchical notion of community, as all can participate in its construction, a thin layer of identity that promotes trust among a wide variety of subgroups, and practical reciprocity in the continual process of shaping the meaning and implication of membership.

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