Civic Education Debates

National Identity vs. Cultural Diversity

What’s the Debate? What is the basis of American national identity? Other nations throughout the world have answered this question in a variety of ways. Their citizens might be unified by common language, shared religion, perception of “blood” lineage, or some combination of these. When the former Yugoslavia broke up, Serbs and Croats who shared …

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Personal Success vs. Public Service

What’s the Debate? Throughout our history, American society has held up two competing values for young people as they chart their future direction. Should they prioritize personal goals, seeking wealth and individual success, often called the “liberal ethos”? Or should they dedicate themselves to public service and the common good, as the republican worldview advocates? …

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Scientific Truth vs. Inherited Wisdom

What’s the Debate? Since America’s founding, two seemingly opposing traditions have defined our national culture, namely scientific progress and religious faith. Both of these traditions trace their roots to colonial Philadelphia, where William Penn welcomed diverse religious communities from across Europe, while Benjamin Franklin helped found research institutions and museums. As scientific research has helped …

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Intro to Civic Education Debates

At the heart of the American experiment is the discussion of citizenship, a principal legacy of the political ideals of the American Revolution. What are the rights and responsibilities associated with citizenship? What values define active citizenship? What are the best ways to cultivate and maintain these values in the citizenry, for young people, adults, …

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