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Liberalism in PracticeThe Psychology and Pedagogy of Public Reason$
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Olivia Newman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262028790

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262028790.001.0001

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Learning Public Reason

Learning Public Reason

(p.93) 5 Learning Public Reason
Liberalism in Practice

Olivia Newman

The MIT Press

This chapter suggests that students are most likely to acquire a dispositional commitment to public reason when they have opportunities to think about, talk about, and collectively tackle controversial collective problems, in the context of at least some ideological diversity. This chapter considers a number of educational practices that might offer such opportunities, ranging from open classroom discussion of current affairs to efforts to involve students in municipal governance. The pedagogy of public reason is flexible and open to innovation in the field; there are many ways to satisfy its imperatives, which suggests that the pedagogy of public reason is scalable. These claims are substantiated through a survey of literature on civic education and its efficacy, paying special attention to how a dispositional commitment to public reason might carry from school to polity without steamrolling other and possibly contending commitments in other domains.

Keywords:   Pedagogy of public reason, Ideological diversity, Problem solving, Civic education, Dispositions, Educational practices, School to polity

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