Seven Democratic Virtues of Liberal Education
A Student-Inspired Agenda for Teaching Civic Virtue in European Universities
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This book argues that the Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) model of education can inspire reform across higher education to help students acquire crucial civic virtues.
Based on interviews with 59 students from LAS programmes across Europe, the book posits that LAS education can develop a range of citizenship skills that are central to the democratic process. The interviews provide insight into how studying LAS prepares students for citizenship by asking them to reflect on their education, what it taught them, and how it did so. Building on these insights, seven key democratic competencies are identified and linked to concrete educational practices that foster them, leading to an agenda for higher education reform.
Ultimately arguing for making the teaching of civic virtue a more central part of university education in Europe, this book will appeal to researchers, educators, and politicians with an interest in education policy, philosophy of education, and democratic theory, as well as concerned citizens.
Table of Contents
1. A Renewed Call for Civic Education in Universities 2. Civic Virtue, Democracy, and Democratic Conversations 3. Teaching Civic Virtue in Universities 4. Open-Mindedness and the Multidisciplinary Curriculum 5. Independence of Thought and Active Pedagogy 6. The Sense of Self and Freedom of Choice 7. The Sense of the Other and the International Classroom 8. Compromise and Group Work 9. Knowledge of Social Issues and General Education 10. The Sense of Democracy and Academic Community 11. An Agenda for Teaching Civic Virtue in European Universities
Teun J. Dekker is Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences Education, University College Maastricht - Maastricht University, The Netherlands.