Monthly Archives: August 2006

a learning community experiment

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0I’m interested in the following ideas and I’m thinking about a true experiment that could help to test them: 1. Education is not just what happens to kids inside schools. A whole community should be involved in educating all … Continue reading

Posted in a high school civics class | 1 Comment

the difference between economics and psychology

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0To tell the truth, I have never taken a single course in either economics or psychology. However, my professional interests have led me to read a fair amount in both disciplines and to talk to scholars of both persuasions. … Continue reading

Posted in philosophy | 2 Comments

when chivalry died

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0I just finished James Shapiro’s very enjoyable book entitled A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599, which is about the year when Henry the Fifth, Julius Ceasar, As You Like it, and Hamlet were written. It’s packed … Continue reading

Posted in Shakespeare & his world | Leave a comment


Facebook0 Twitter0Total0I don’t have a firm opinion about whether Ned Lamont’s victory in last week’s Connecticut primary was good or bad news. However, as someone whose job is to study deliberative democracy, civil society, and related issues, I would like … Continue reading

Posted in deliberation | 4 Comments

the magic dragon

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0I spent most of today in the kind of meeting that is most familiar to me. People in suits sat around a large, open table in an office inside the Washington Beltway, explaining what their alphabet soup of professional … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

a cautionary tale

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0John Dewey and his contemporaries in the Progressive Era invented many of the standard forms of civic education, including social studies courses, student governments, service clubs, scholastic newspapers, and 4-H. Dewey rightly argued that “Formal instruction … easily becomes … Continue reading

Posted in advocating civic education | Leave a comment

a new survey of youth entertainment culture

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0An interesting LA Times poll of American kids (age 12-24) finds them bored despite a plethora of electronic entertainment devices. “‘I feel bored like all the time, ’cause there is like nothing to do,’ said Shannon Carlson, 13, of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

listening to Kansas

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0In today’s New York Times, the author of What’s the Matter with Kansas? Thomas Frank, decries the right-wing revolt against expertise: To the faithful, theirs is a war against ‘elites,’ and, with striking regularity, that means a war against … Continue reading

Posted in populism | Leave a comment

“slave trader … patriot”

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0I’m in Providence, RI. Walking past a fine eighteenth century house, I spotted a plaque with these words: John Brown House The home of John Brown reflecting the wealth and position gained from his lucrative career as slave trader, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Calvino’s free hyper-indirect discourse

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0I recently finished Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, in William Weaver’s translation. It’s a novel about trying to read a novel of that name by Italo Calvino–a difficult and even perilous task, since the book … Continue reading

Posted in fine arts | Leave a comment