dispatches from the civic renewal movement

We are deep in the Institute of Civic Studies, talking about challenging theorists like Bent Flyvbjerg, Jürgen Habermas, and John Dewey. My notes on those thinkers are at the links. Meanwhile, friends in the actual civic renewal movement are sending their news. For instance:

  • Alison Fine presents a perceptive analysis of the “The Social Network Behind Wendy Davis,” showing how online activism and “on land” activism came together.
  • Students from the Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC) testified at the White House on how they got “student input” included in “official teacher evaluations” in Boston. That required their engagement and it will engage thousands of other students.
  • The National Institute for Civic Discourse “has been leading a team of deliberative democracy groups from around the country to promote President Barack Obama’s National Dialogue on Mental Health.” See this map for where dialogues are occurring; and you can organize your own.
  • In “Civic Learning through Action: The Case of Generation Citizen,” we (CIRCLE staff) describe the theory of change of Generation Citizen. GC works with middle and high schools in diverse communities by offering a curriculum, coaching, and support for “action civics.” GC has also received a large grant from the Knight Foundation to expand, and we will be evaluating.
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About Peter

Associate Dean for Research and the Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University's Tisch College of Civic Life. Concerned about civic education, civic engagement, and democratic reform in the United States and elsewhere.