AMST-157 Civic Engagement & Education
Fall for 2017-2018
No faculty information available
Throughout history, philosophers, political theorists, and citizen activists have argued that the existence of a vibrant and just democracy demands much more of citizens than a vote cast in a ballot box periodically; citizens must become actively engaged in addressing the social and political problems facing their communities and the larger society. In turn, as many have also argued, effective engagement demands that all youth be educated in particular ways so that they are able to participate in this activity.
This course focuses on the intersection of youth civic engagement and education. Topics addressed include conceptions of civic engagement, specific examples of effective and ineffective engagement drawn from American history, strategies and models of effective engagement, the theoretical and actual role of schooling in preparing youth for civic engagement, youth attitudes toward civic engagement, and specific recommendations and strategies that can be used in educational settings to promote youth engagement. A special emphasis will be placed on the disempowerment experienced by low-income students of color in low-performing schools, and the role that schooling can play in either further marginalizing these students or empowering them. Georgetown students in this course will be expected to take a very active role in the classroom and to assume responsibility for their own, their peers’, and the professor’s learning in the course.
Students must enroll for 4 credits. In addition to the standard twice-weekly class meetings, readings, and assignments, students will be required to complete assignments and activities related to a community-based civic engagement project. Each student will coach a small group of high-school age students on a project addressing a community problem selected by the group. Georgetown students will meet with their students on a twice-weekly basis during the school day to identify an issue for the project; research previous initiatives to address the problem and evaluate their effectiveness; and develop, implement, and evaluate the effectiveness of an original effort to address the problem. In addition, Georgetown students will be required to participate in a twice a month reflective seminar with their Georgetown peers at which they will be learn strategies for working with at-risk high school age students and discuss their experiences working with these students. Georgetown students will help plan a culminating conference at which they and their groups will present their work to the campus and local community.
Those who enroll in this course do not need to have any prior teaching experience.
Due to the uncertainty of the public school course schedule planning process, we don’t know yet the days and times for the school site visits; there may be some flexibility in the schedule of these visits to accommodate Georgetown student schedules. The twice-monthly seminars are tentatively scheduled for Fridays from 4-5:30.
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