Monday, September 26, 2011

Youth participation and social networks

K-12 education in the U.S. is designed to transmit to our young people the knowledge and skills that our society deems important. Community-based youth development programs are often designed to teach knowledge and skills that are not addressed in school, and sometimes to give young people experiences that take them out of their neighborhoods into the wider world. But knowledge and skill development are still the goals. But if one of our larger social goals is to expand opportunity rather than perpetuating inequality, schools and community-based youth development programs must focus more explicitly on helping young people build their social networks.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Guardians and Pathways

By interesting coincidence, a couple of reports relating to civic participation were released on September 15 in different parts of the world. First, a collaborative in the United Kingdom called Pathways through Participation released a report called “Pathways through Participation: What creates and sustains active citizenship?” A few hours later, as part of the 2011 National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) in Philadelphia, “Guardian of Democracy: The Civic Mission of Schools” was released by a partnership that included NCoC, The Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools and CIRCLE, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.