McGuire, Stevahn, and Bronsther (2019) focused on civic education in elementary grades, an important but sorely missing topic in schools. Using Storypath, a simulation-like approach to address the housing affordability in Seattle, the authors showed how motivated and engaged students were with the topic. A major strength of the study is the authors’ acknowledgment of the perils of children being denied of the opportunity to acquire the skills and dispositions that support participation in democratic social life. Also, they integrated civic learning with social and emotional learning (SEL) in a meaningful way. However, I argue in this response paper that both civic learning and SEL need an equity and social justice focus because our current democracy does not adequately care for everyone. Finally, I suggest that critical civic empathy could make a meaningful contribution to civic education.

Response to Article

Margit E. McGuire, Laurie Stevahn, and Shari Wennik Bronsther, Storypath: A Powerful Tool for Engaging Children in Civic Education