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Civics Beyond Critics – Character Education in a Liberal Democracy - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Civics Beyond Critics: Character Education in a Liberal Democracy

Ian MacMullen


Should character formation be a goal of civic education in a liberal democracy? In addition to imparting knowledge and teaching skills, should civic education shape children’s values, beliefs, preferences, habits, identities, and sentiments? Most contemporary political and educational theorists who address these questions respond with a heavily qualified yes. Education for civic character is vital to the survival and flourishing of liberal democracy, they argue, but its content must be strictly limited to avoid compromising its recipients’ ability to think and act as critically autonomous citi ... More

Keywords: civic education, character education, civic virtue, autonomy, critical thinking, citizenship, law-abidingness, civic identification, liberal democracy, children

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780198733614
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198733614.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ian MacMullen, author
Assistant Professor of Political Science, Washington University in St. Louis