Teachers College Press

Teaching Democracy
Unity and Diversity in Public Life

Walter C. Parker

Multicultural Education
Pub Date: November 2002, 216 pages

Paperback: $31.95, ISBN: 0807742724
Cloth: $54, ISBN: 0807742732
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"At a moment in time when our connection to the nation seems superficial and jingoistic, Walter Parker offers us a vehicle to reach our ideal of deliberative committed civic participation for every citizen. This book explores the hard work of citizen-making in a diverse and complex society where individual and group interests often are in conflict. Parker makes us realize that in a democracy ‘public’ is not a dirty word and schooling should not be punishment."
Gloria Ladson Billings, University of Wisconsin, Madison

"This book deals in an engaging and thought-provoking way with both social realities and democratic possibilities–exactly what I try to do in my classroom."
Wendy Ewbank, teacher, Seattle Girls’ School

In Teaching Democracy, Walter Parker makes a unique and thoughtful contribution to the hot debate between proponents of multicultural education and those who favor a cultural literacy approach. Parker conclusively demonstrates that educating for democratic citizenship in a multicultural society includes a fundamental respect for diversity.

This scholarly yet accessible work:

  • Bridges the widening gap between multicultural education and civic education.
  • Provides powerful teaching strategies that educators can use to draw children creatively and productively into a way of life that protects and nurtures cultural pluralism and racial equity.
  • Explains the unity—diversity confusion that is found in popular media as well as in multicultural- and citizenship-education initiatives.
  • Defines deliberative discussion and explores its promise as the centerpiece of democratic education in schools, both elementary and secondary.

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