Quick Hits for Educating Citizens by Thomas Ehrlich, James L.. Perry, Steven G. Jones

By Thomas Ehrlich, James L.. Perry, Steven G. Jones

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Can’t We All Just (Dis)Agree? Jennifer S. Simpson Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne The ability of students and an instructor to disagree on contentious social issues is an important component of civic engagement. Civic learning includes “tolerance of perspectives different from one’s own . . and the capacity to conduct moral discourse across points of view” (Colby, Ehrlich, Beaumont, and Stephens 2003, 16). In a classroom that includes civic engagement– related learning outcomes, students must be “encour- TIPS FOR FIRST TIMERS aged to think independently,” and to disagree with each other and the instructor (Colby et al.

1:53–63. 2 CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES Making Democracy Matter in the Classroom Joan Mandle Colgate University and Adam Weinberg World Learning Democracy Matters is a national organization started by a group of faculty at Colgate University dedicated to engaging students in politics. Our focus is on pro-democracy issues and especially involvement with the movement for a fair and accountable government and campaign ¤nance reform (voter-owned elections, often know as Clean Elections). Over the last four years, we have developed and tested a number of successful service-learning exercises.

This understanding of writing was called into play when one of our community partners needed a fact sheet explaining a program for grade-school 6 QUICK HITS FOR EDUCATING CITIZENS children. To produce a useful document, the student writer needed to: fathom the expectations, needs, and resources of both the partner organization and its primary audience (mostly low-income, Latino families); grasp the capacities and limitations of the “fact sheet” genre; make choices about style, tone, and vocabulary; and anticipate the consequences of writing so as to pursue the positive and avoid the negative.

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