Who’s Afraid of Political Education

The Challenge to Teach Civic Competence and Democratic Participation

Edited by Henry Tam

Published

Jun 1, 2023

Page count

208 pages

ISBN

978-1447366959

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Policy Press

Published

Jun 1, 2023

Page count

208 pages

ISBN

978-1447366973

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Policy Press
Who’s Afraid of Political Education

Democracy should enable citizens to play an informed role in determining how power is exercised for their common wellbeing, but this only works if people have the understanding, skills and confidence to engage effectively in public affairs. Otherwise, any voting system can be subverted to serve the interests of propagandists and demagogues.

This book brings together leading experts on learning for democracy to explore why and how the gap in civic competence should be bridged.

Drawing on research findings and case examples from the UK, the US and elsewhere, it will set out why change is necessary, what could be taught differently to ensure effective political engagement, and how a lasting impact in improving citizens’ learning for democratic participation can be made.

Henry Tam is a writer, educator and former Head for Civic Renewal under the last Labour government. He was previously a lecturer at the University of Cambridge.

1. Introduction: Citizens, We Have a Problem – Henry Tam

Part 1: Why Changes Are Needed

2. Political Education in an Unequal Society - Diane Reay

3. Classroom Conflict, ‘Divisive Concepts’ and Educating for Democracy - Barrett Smith and Sarah M. Stitzlein

4. The Contested Scope of Academic Freedom - Dina Kiwan

5. Rethinking Citizenship Education for Political Literacy - Tony Breslin

Part 2: What Could be Done Differently

6. Populism, Classrooms, and Shared Authority - Kathleen Sellers and Kathleen Knight Abowitz

7. Different Approaches to Teaching Civic and National Identity - Edda Sant

8. Active Learning of Marginalised Young People - Kalbir Shukra

9. Universities’ Role in Teaching Practical Politics - Titus Alexander

Part 3: How to Make a Lasting Impact

10. The Evidence on Educational Methods for Political Engagement - David Kerr and Bryony Hoskins

11. Citizenship Education: Building for the Future - Lee Jerome and Liz Moorse

12. Reversing Democratic Decline Through Political Education - Murray Print

13. Towards Civic Learning for All - Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg

14. Conclusion: Lessons for Democratic Health – Henry Tam