Darwich (2020) asked “What Kind of Citizens Do Educators Hope Their Students Become?” in her response to “Storypath: A Powerful Tool for Engaging Children in Civic Education” (McGuire et al., 2019). She argued that civics should be rooted in social justice grounded by critical civic empathy, which requires focusing on power and privilege given persistent disparities in caring for all people within our democracy. We agree and here further emphasize the importance of dismantling systems of oppression that block efforts to advance this goal. We also recognize pragmatic complexities in elementary school classrooms that require teacher professional judgment to create conditions for success. These include attending to diverse developmental needs of learners, classroom time constraints, and instructional standards that do not explicitly focus on social justice. We describe how the teacher in McGuire et al. navigated these challenges and call for systemic change to support teachers in routinely engaging all children in experiential civic learning grounded by critical civic empathy.
Response to Article
McGuire, M. E.
, Stevahn, L.
, Wennik Bronsther, S.
What Is Education For? A Response to "What Kind of Citizens Do Educators Hope Their Students Become? A Response to 'Storypath: A Powerful Tool for Engaging Children in Civic Learning.'".
Democracy and Education,
(2), Article 10.
Available at: https://democracyeducationjournal.org/home/vol28/iss2/10