UW News

February 9, 2006

College of Education presents discussion of citizenship education, diversity

The best venue for teaching citizenship skills and values to young people is where the diversity of students is greatest, and that’s public school, says Walter Parker, one of three professors from the UW College of Education who will meet the public on Feb. 16 in a forum on citizenship education.

The forum, titled “A More Perfect Union: Preparing Students for Citizenship,” will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, at Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., in Seattle. The event is free, and the doors open at 6 p.m.

Also speaking will be College of Education professors Tom Stritikus — who, like Parker, is in the field of curriculum and instruction — and Ed Taylor, who teaches in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Taylor, who has helped build school systems in South Africa, will discuss what that country and other emerging democracies are doing to prepare students to be fully participating members of their societies.

“Schools are the ideal site for citizenship education because they are such public places — very different from homes and from churches, temples and mosques, which by comparison are homogenous places, relatively speaking,” Parker said.

He said citizenship education needs two main ingredients to be effective and practical — “Where you have a diverse student body and shared problems, you have fertile ground for citizenship education.”

The evening is sponsored by the College of Education and the UW Alumni Association. Registration is required. For more information or to register, call 206-543-0540 or visit online at www.educ.washington.edu