With political polarization on the rise in American Culture, what room does civics education have in preparing children for their entry into society?
UW-Madison education dean Diana Hess says schools and parents should not shy away from teaching about current events in their civics courses, like the Black Lives Matter Movement or the riots at the US Capitol.
“I think what happened on January 6th was incredibly serious and Incredibly important and it needs to be included in the curriculum.”
Hess says that parents need to give their students some room to learn, which is why the events this summer in Burlington where parents violently objected to a lesson on the Black Lives Matter Movement is a perfect demonstration.
“They should want their children to learn about political issues, and to learn about multiple and competing views on political issues. And we know that in high quality political education that teachers can do that in a way that is not in fact pushing children to a certain point of view.”
Dr. Hess says that a strong civics education among students could be a step towards undoing the highly partisan political landscape that we currently live in, and will help our students mature into politically healthy citizens.