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Educating Citizens: Preparing America's Undergraduates for Lives of Moral and Civic Responsibility

ISBN: 978-0-7879-7118-2
352 pages
June 2003, Jossey-Bass
Educating Citizens: Preparing America


Educating Citizens reports on how some American colleges and universities are preparing thoughtful, committed, and socially responsible graduates. Many institutions assert these ambitions, but too few act on them. The authors demonstrate the fundamental importance of moral and civic education, describe how the historical and contemporary landscapes of higher education have shaped it, and explain the educational and developmental goals and processes involved in educating citizens. They examine the challenges colleges and universities face when they dedicate themselves to this vital task and present concrete ways to overcome those challenges.
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Table of Contents

Foreword (Lee S. Shulman).

Preface to the Paperback Edition.

The Authors.

1. Educating Citizens in a Pluralistic Society.

2. The Broader Undergraduate Context.

3. When Educating Citizens Is a Priority.

4. The Multiple Dimensions of Moral and Civic Development.

5. Pedagogical Strategies for Educating Citizens.

6. Weaving Moral and Civic Learning into the Curriculum.

7. Faculty: The Cornerstone.

8. Moral and Civic Learning Beyond the Classroom.

9. Assessment in Moral and Civic Education.

10. Bringing Moral and Civic Learning to Center Stage.


Name Index.

Subject Index.

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Author Information

Anne Colby is a senior scholar at The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. She is the former director of the Henry Murray Research Center at the Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University. Thomas Ehrlich is a senior scholar at The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He is the former president of Indiana University, provost of the University of Pennsylvania, and dean of Stanford Law School. Elizabeth Beaumont is a research associate at The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Jason Stephens is a research associate at The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

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"Educating Citizens contains much of value and interest to all of its intended audiences." (Journal of College Student Development, December 2003)

"The authors have provided a superb account of civic education on college and university campuses in these troubled times. They combine specific examples of best practices with an exceptionally thoughtful philosophical exploration of the meaning and impact of civic learning."
— Nannerl O. Keohane, president, Duke University

"A comprehensive, thoughtful, and beautifully crafted analysis of American higher education's actual and potential role in preparing undergraduates for citizenship and life. If you have any interest in the civic and moral education of our nation's college students, read this book!"
— Alexander W. Astin, Allan Murray Cartter Professor and Director, Higher Education Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles

"Americans today are more conscious than they have been for many decades that free institutions cannot be taken for granted. The very survival of self-government depends on the character and capabilities of citizens committed to a public good beyond the narrow confines of self-interest. Educating Citizens is a profoundly timely and enlightening book in these circumstances. The authors enable us to understand a neglected aspect of students experience in colleges and universities and help us chart a new and compelling future for higher education in America."
— Eamonn Callan, associate dean and professor of education, Stanford University

"Educating Citizens will become the benchmark resource for everyone who views effective citizenship as an essential outcome of liberal education for the twenty-first century. The authors summarize the research on civic and moral development and present a wealth of campus designs for moving civic engagement and ethical judgment back to the center of academic attention. The authors also provide an incisive history of liberal education that shows how higher education lost its way on civic and ethical development, and they describe in detail what it will take to build a more engaged and public-spirited academy."
— Carol Geary Schneider, president, Association of American Colleges and Universities

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