A Framework for Teaching Democratic Citizenship

A Framework for Teaching Democratic Citizenship - A F...

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Unformatted text preview: A F ramework for Teaching Democratic Citizenship: An I nternational Project Charles F. Bahmueller, Ph.D. Center for Civic Education Is it possible to develop an international, cross-cultural consensus on the central meanings and character of the ideas, values, and institutions of democracy and the common elements of which education for democratic citizenship should consist? A new project is attempting to answer this difficult and thorny question. "Education for Democratic Citizenship: A Framework," administered by the Center for Civic Education, is an international project with a global reach-with advisors and critics from every inhabited continent. 1 The Framework project, which began in 1996, is expected to continue well into 1999, when the last in a series of drafts will be published. In the interim, teachers, educators, and other interested parties from around the world are invited to participate by commenting on successive versions. 2 Review of the Framework's first draft began in autumn 1997; a second draft was released during the winter of 1998. Among those reviewing Framework drafts and advising the project's developers are individual scholars, NGOs, and national ministries of education from more than three dozen countries, including China (Hong Kong), Mongolia, Thailand, and Turkmenistan in Asia; Benin, Ethiopia, and Ghana in Africa; Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, and Russia in Europe; Argentina, Brazil, and Costa Rica, in Latin America; and Canada, Mexico, and the United States, in North America. Comments on the first draft were overwhelmingly favorable. For example, "I believe this framework is a very good achievement" (Costa Rica); "The document I thought was excellent" (Dominican Republic); "I find the project an important one. I t will be of much use for democratic education in many parts of the world" (Hong Kong); "This Framework meets our interest and will be very useful for all institutions dealing with the civic education" (Mongolia); "I am very impressed by [your] careful and thorough approach to the subject. This is a well balanced outline..." (Serbia); "It is already obvious that the final variant of this document will be very useful and widely used...in different countries" (Tajikistan). One Framework, two versions At this writing, the Framework is presented in two versions. One is known as the "Five-Part," the other as the "Seven-Part," Outline. While a large majority of reviewers favored the Seven-Part version, a significant minority favored the Five-Part version (some strongly), and a number favored doing both. In consequence, both will probably be published. Giving readers a choice, rather than a single version, carries its own message-a democratic, or, better put, a "liberal" message. The majority has not, as in liberal democracy itself, decimated the minority; a plurality of voices is heard, not a monotone....
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2011 for the course POLS 305 taught by Professor Zhou during the Spring '11 term at University of Hawaii, Manoa.

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A Framework for Teaching Democratic Citizenship - A F...

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