|Ideals of Democracy
know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people
themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their
control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but
to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses
of constitutional power."
Citizenship is the foundation for the preservation and promotion of democracy
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
“The great moral attribute of self-government cannot be born and matured in a day; and if children are not trained to it, we only prepare ourselves for disappointment if we expect it from grown men…As the fitting apprenticeship or despotism consists in being trained to despotism, so the fitting apprenticeship for self-government consists in being trained to self-government” (Parker & Jarolimek, 1984, 23).
What defines an Effective Citizen?
What qualities exemplify a “good” or ideal citizen?
Citizenship Education should consist of these elements:
Democracy and Education
By definition, therefore, the success of a democracy, the endurance of its institutions, and the fulfillment of its vision, rests squarely on the willingness and ability of its citizens to face up to the responsibilities required of those who are to enjoy the rights of a free society. The knowledge, skills, values, and beliefs that comprise these citizens must be cultivated, and this cultivation is the unique assignment of the social studies” (Parker and Jarolimek, 5).
William G. Carr of the National Education Association observed that “the attitudes and values of the people” were critical to the determining the propensity of any nation for war and that education was the process through which attitudes and values were developed. (Garrett, 2)
Franklin Bobbitt, “Unless the world fairly soon finds an improved method of bringing out and shaping human understanding, attitudes, valuations, character, and ways of performance, there can be nothing ahead for humanity but greater civil confusions and more frightful wars and massacres…” (Garrett, 3)
The Era of the Common School
The purpose of schooling was to “produce socially efficient individuals” who were committed to fundamental American values and were capable of making real contributions to the technical and social development of the country.