the question each citizen must ask

(New York City) “The Question Each Citizen Must Ask” is my new piece in Educational Leadership, the magazine for k-12 school administrators (vol. 73, no. 6, March 2016, pp. 30-34. It begins:

When universal public education was invented in the United States, visionary proponents like Horace Mann believed they were building the first large-scale democracy in the history of the world. They realized that citizens would have to be educated to play their parts in a system that depended on millions of wise and active participants. They made a courageous bet that children could be taught to make democracy work.

I argue that civic education must equip students to ask the citizen’s core question, and I explain what that is and what pedagogies are most promising. (The article is also available via

This entry was posted in advocating civic education on by .

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.