Giving Compass’ Take:
· Getting Smart explains the need for educators to lead by example and provide students with the opportunities and skills they need to get involved in civic activism and promote democracy.
· How can education help save democracy? What skills should educators teach students?
Democracy is facing a performance crisis. In many democracies across the world, living standards have flattened, the supremacy of ethnic groups is being challenged and the rise of social media has empowered fringe movements. Philosopher A.C. Grayling argues that, “While we look at the screens of our televisions and mobile phones, others with agendas have their fingers in the pockets of our democracy, on the credit cards of our democracy.” Others believe that we are living with pre-fascism.
Now is the time to do what philosopher Hannah Arendt called on citizens to do: stop and think.
Winston Churchill once declared: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” Western democracies are now safer, wealthier and freer than human beings have ever been. However, it would be imprudent to assume that liberal democracy is anything but a historical blip. Democracy is fragile, and people increasingly feel that democracies are unresponsive, run by selfish elites, and failing to deliver. At the same time, Yascha Mounk argues that, “When a political structure continues for centuries, it is easy for those who have never known anything else to assume that it is immutable.” Unlike most of our ancestors, many of us have never had to face starvation or a war, but history is full of examples that suggest that stability might be temporary.
Read the full article about democracy and education by Cameron Paterson at Getting Smart
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