The other day I asked if perhaps math, stats, and logic might be a stronger intervention against rampant misinformation than civics?
Today, Robert “Panic at the” Pondiscio takes a look at civics and history. Makes some important points though I’d quibble that what’s happening here is totally precedented. We’ve had insurrections before, large and small, and we’ve had plenty of low-grade violence. We’ve had elected officials fanning crazy theories. But what we’ve not had is a U.S. President fully in the middle of it like this – one reason yesterday’s impeachment was unusually bipartisan as those things go.
At the core, though, seems like two related but also distinct problems. Equipping citizens to navigate today’s information flow, which is unprecedented. And then also, as Robert suggests, building,
Appreciation for those institutions, as well as a clear-eyed view of their failures, is a necessary foundation to build if we want our students to commit themselves to improving them, not attacking them. But this is the work of many years. It starts with establishing the cultivation of pro-social dispositions and civic engagement as no less central to the work of schools than college and career readiness, a goal which we are fond of invoking in moments of political turmoil, and equally fond of forgetting when it wanes.