1st Edition

Teaching for Democracy in an Age of Economic Disparity

Edited By Cory Wright-Maley, Trent Davis Copyright 2017
    270 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    270 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Teaching for Democracy in an Age of Economic Disparity addresses the intersections between democratic education and economic inequality in American society. Drawing upon well-established theoretical constructs in the literature on democratic citizenship as well as recent events, this volume outlines the ways in which students can not only be educated about democracy, but become actively engaged in the social issues of their time.

    The collection begins with an examination of how the confluence of capitalism and education have problematized the current model of democratic education, before transitioning into discussions of how teachers can confront economic disparity both economically and civically in the classroom. The authors then introduce a variety of ways in which teachers can engage and empower students’ civic action at all grade levels. As a final component, the volume explores new avenues for civic action, including the use of social media for democratic engagement in schools and opportunities for critical reflection and cross-cultural dialogue. This book is a valuable resource for both scholars interested in the research on democratic education and practicing teachers wishing to turn their students into critical, active citizens.



    Cory Wright-Maley and Trent Davis

    Section I: Setting the Context

    1. Democratic Education under Siege in a Neoliberal Society

    Henry A. Giroux

    2. The Economic Citizen: Civic Education and its Discontents

    Joseph R. Nichols, Jr.

    3. Emancipatory and Pluralist Perspectives on Democracy and Economic Inequality in Social Studies and Citizenship Education

    Mark Edward Johnson

    Section II: Confronting Economic Disparity

    4. Teaching about Economic Inequality: Lessons from California

    John Rogers & Joel Westheimer

    5. Teaching about Economics and Moneyed Interests in 21st Century Democracy

    Tamara L. Sober

    6. Helping Students Address the Elephant in Democracy’s Room: An Interactive Approach to Teaching about Campaign Finance

    Wayne Journell, Brett L. M. Levy, and James M. M. Hartwick

    Section III: Building Spaces to Nurture Student Action

    7. Toward Gender Equity: Imagining New Spaces for Empowerment through Feminist Pedagogy in Democratic Classrooms

    Kathryn E. Engebretson and Alexandria Hollett

    8. Literacy Instruction as a Tool for Vibrant Civic Voice

    Jennifer E. Dolan and Douglas Kaufman

    9. Empowering Praxis in Our Youngest Citizens: An Instructional Framework for Helping Elementary School Students Explore and Respond to Contemporary Social Issues

    Ryan Colwell

    10. Participatory Citizenship: A Commitment to Action Civics

    Karon LeCompte and Brooke Blevins

    11. Fostering Youth Voice: Philosophy, Strategies, and Outcomes of the Democracy in Action Program

    Emma Kornfeld, Jill Bass, and Brett L. M. Levy

    Section IV: New Fronts in the Fight for Democracy

    12. Interrogating Democracy: Lessons from Ferguson, Missouri

    Lauren Arend and Alexander Cuenca

    13. Narrative Possibilities of the Radical Humanities: Shaping Participatory and Justice-Oriented Citizens for Democracy

    Tara Hyland-Russell and Corinne Syrnyk

    14. Mediating Democracy: Social Media as Curriculum

    Daniel G. Krutka and Jeffrey P. Carpenter



    Cory Wright-Maley is Assistant Professor of Education at St. Mary’s University, where he teaches elementary curriculum, instruction, and assessment, specializing in social studies education.

    Trent Davis is Associate Professor of Education at St. Mary’s University, where he teaches the philosophical and historical foundations of education.

    “To be concerned with democratic education today is to be focused directly on economic inequality. This book is groundbreaking because it brings the two into a single frame.” –Walter Parker, Professor of Social Studies and, by courtesy, Political Science, University of Washington, Seattle

    “This book boldly tackles crucial problems in U.S. education and society, especially considering the current state of inequality. It explains how and why we need to utilize new approaches to democracy education, for marginalized students in particular, with the intent of strengthening democracy for all. The chapters offer compelling explications of research, practice, and ideology. With its focus on economics, the book makes a critical contribution to scholarship on democratic education." –Judith L. Pace, Professor of Teacher Education, University of San Francisco