How do we nurture civic-minded citizens?

  • Jeanne Dietsch

Published: 8/13/2018 7:58:44 PM

In a well-known psychology experiment, one Monopoly player starts with only half as much money as the other and may only use one die, so never gets doubles. Researchers ask the second player, inevitably the winner, what caused the win. Typically, the winner claims they won because of their skill, regardless of the obvious fact that the rules bent in their favor.

America was founded to break free of a system that enables a permanent ruling class to craft rules that cause money and power to flow their way more than others’. Thomas Jefferson saw the continuous rise of people from the bottom as the source of our nation’s exceptional economic power. He wrote, “The object [of public education is] to bring into action that mass of talents which lies buried in poverty in every country for want of the means of development, and thus give activity to a mass of mind which in proportion to our population shall be the double or treble of what it is in most countries.”

Our Founders also designed the nation to require people of differing opinions to discuss and negotiate to the benefit of The People. Unfortunately, collaboration between parties for the benefit of The People has been in short supply as of late. Let’s start here! We invite people of all views to join in this discussion.

In addition to Civics Teacher of multiple years, David Alcox, and journalism professor Kristen Nevious, our Community Conversation starters will include former Judge L. Phillips Runyon III, whose book Justice Approximated describes what the nation’s third branch of government looks like from the ground up.

If our citizens, our children, are not taught the basic requirements for the continuation of democracy, our democracy will not continue. On Tuesday, Aug. 21, at 7 p.m., we will have regional and national leaders in the teaching of civics start our Community Conversation on “How Do We Nurture Civic-Minded Citizens?” Please join us in Bass Hall at the Monadnock Center for History and Culture for this important discussion.


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