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Jyl Gentzler (Section 01)
(Offered as PHIL 301 and EDST 301) In the past decade, public support for democratic institutions has waned significantly all over the world. The solution to this problem, some argue, is to educate our citizens better so that they understand the value of democracy. Against this solution, others argue that democracy is not the best way to govern a complex nation, since the people lack the knowledge and character that they need to govern well. The solution to this problem, some argue, is to educate our citizens so that they develop the knowledge and character required to exercise the rights of a democratic citizen responsibly and well.In this class, we will consider and assess philosophical arguments for and against different sorts of democracies. In light of this inquiry, we will consider what it would mean to educate for effective democratic citizenship. What knowledge and dispositions should democratic citizens have? How should they be taught? Who should have the authority to determine how the children of democratic citizens are educated? Is segregation of children by social identity in different types of schools compatible with an effective democratic citizenship? Or should schools be fully integrated with all children given the same educational opportunities? Readings will be drawn from the works of Plato, Jason Brennan, Hélène Landemore, Henry Richardson, Elizabeth Anderson, Amy Guttman, Harvey Siegel, Harry Brighouse, William Galston, David Wallace Adams, K. Tsianina Lomawaima, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Russell Rickford, Tommie Shelby, and others.
Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Professors Gentzler.