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Educating for Democracy: Preparing Undergraduates for Responsible Political Engagement

ISBN: 978-0-7879-8554-7
384 pages
November 2007, Jossey-Bass
Educating for Democracy: Preparing Undergraduates for Responsible Political Engagement  (0787985546) cover image


Educating for Democracy reports the results of the Political Engagement Project, a study of educational practices at the college level that prepare students for responsible democratic participation. In this book, coauthors Anne Colby, Elizabeth Beaumont, Thomas Ehrlich, and Josh Corngold show that education for political development can increase students’ political understanding, skill, motivation, and involvement while contributing to many aspects of general academic learning.
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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 Service Learning.

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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Author Information

The Authors

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

Elizabeth Beaumont is assistant professor of political science at the University of Minnesota.

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

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

Anne Colby, Thomas Ehrlich, and Elizabeth Beaumont, along with Jason Stephens, are the coauthors of Educating Citizens, published by Jossey-Bass in 2003.

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“The book is superbly designed and organized, and very well written. It is scholarly, examining the foundational, theoretical, and conceptual issues surrounding college-level education for political learning. It is challenging, discussing central goals in political development that higher education administrators and faculty should address. It is helpful to scholarly practitioners, focusing on key pedagogical strategies of teaching for political learning. And it provides a treasure of lessons learned, both in the narrative chapters and in the appendix of creatively designed courses and programs.” —Raymond D. Vlasin, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Michigan State University, for Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, Volume 13, Number 1

Educating for Democracy [offers] not only a vision but an incisive program of political engagement poised to address the concerns of disengaged youth. The principal motivation for the book is that undergraduate education is one of the most valuable venues to address political engagement.... Colby, Beaumont, Ehrlich, and Corngold make a persuasive case that the undergraduate experience provides a significant pathway to political engagement that has the promise to shift the political discourse for the millennial generation.” —Dilafruz R. Williams, professor of Educational Policy, Foundations, and Administrative Studies, Portland State University, for Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, Spring 2008
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