How do we move beyond teaching kindness and responsibility to encouraging students to stand up for fairness and equality in society?

It is an important part of a democracy for citizens to be critical thinkers who question the status quo. Do we want to live in a world where youth passively accept media propaganda, submit to dictator-style leadership, and accept systems that harm their fellow citizens, or would we rather a world where youth are taught to question why these things are happening?

In schools, various forms of “open” discussionhave commonly been used to promote civic education. A few years ago, we studied an elite high school (enrolling privileged, resourced, Ivy League–bound students) that set out to build students’ character by committing to discussion-based learning in every content area. Discussion-based learning can take many forms, such as Socratic discussions, debates, and more; this school emphasized egalitarian relationships between students and teachers, where teachers acted as facilitators and students actively listened to one another and guided the conversation.

Read more at the Greater Good Magazine website here: