Educating for Civic-mindedness
Nurturing authentic professional identities through transformative higher education
Imagined at their best, how might professions contribute most effectively to their local and global communities, and how could higher education support graduates/future professionals in making this contribution? The answer proposed in this book is to educate students for ‘civic-mindedness’, an overarching professional capability grounded in certain dispositions and qualities, ideals, types of knowledge and political emotions. ‘Civic-mindedness’, and its internal counterpart, the practitioner’s self-cultivation, give rise to an engagement with professional practice that is authentic, civic and democratic. The tension between responsiveness or regard for others and regard for self is overcome by recognising that authentic professional identities are constructed through practices around shared purposes and ideals.
Drawing on a wide range of theorists including Dewey, Arendt, and Nussbaum, professions are envisaged to play a vital role. Primarily professions support society’s well-being by ensuring access to public goods, such as local and global justice, access to information, health, education, safety, housing, the beauty and sustaining power of the ecological environment, among others. Yet professions also protect the fundamental good of citizen participation in free deliberation and decision-making on issues affecting their lives. The book concludes with a vision of higher education that is transformative of graduates/professionals, pedagogies, professional practices and communities.
Issues of increasing social awareness are a key concern for anyone involved in teaching professionals and this book, which builds best practice around a sound theoretical and philosophical framework, will prove both thought-provoking and practical in application.
Table of Contents
1 Introducing key issues and concepts 2 Exposing the culture of inauthenticity 3 Conceptualising ideal ‘graduates’ through accounts of authenticity 4 Understanding civic-mindedness: The external dimension of civic professionalism 5 Recognising self-cultivation: The internal dimension of civic professionalism 6 Valuing different types of professional knowledge 7 Cultivating political emotions 8 Enabling democracy 9 Reasoning publically-connecting with community 10 Imagining ‘action’-oriented pedagogies 11 Nurturing authentic professionals identities
Carolin Kreber is Professor of Higher Education the University of Edinburgh, UK, and Dean of the School of Professional Studies at Cape Breton University, Canada.
"This is a complex, carefully crafted book that makes an important contribution to the civic and community engagement literature...Kreber has produced a book that begs further exploration of the questions it raises."
-- Novella Zett Keith, Professor Emerita of Urban Education at Temple University and author of Engaging in Social Partnerships: Democratic Practices for University-Community Partnership