Civic Education for Democracy

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Civic Education for Democracy

The August/September 2003 theme is Civic Education for Democracy. This issue highlights projects and organizations around the world whose work reflects the important connections between democracy and civic education. We have focused on groups working at the local, regional, and international levels to advance democracy through civic education.

The issue has been divided into two sections: Teaching Civic Education In School and Out, and Democracy Education in Difficult Cultural and Political Environments found under the menu to the right. Projects and organizations presented are illustrative examples that democracy activists, practitioners, and educators might consider as they develop their own initiatives.

Please send us information on work your organization may be doing on civic education, so we can consider adding it to the list of projects and organizations. Please send the information via email the World Movement for Democracy or by fax to +1-202-293-0755.

Special sections of this issue feature interviews with two World Movement participants: David McQuoid-Mason, member of the Faculty of Law at the University of Natal in South Africa, and Cynthia Gabriel, Executive Director of the Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram).

This issue also contains an extensive list of Online Publications, including journals, resource pages, and articles organized by region.

The importance of civic education was discussed during the World Movement's Second Assembly in Sao Paulo in November 2000. The Foundation for Education for Democracy (Poland) and CIVITAS International organized a workshop entitled "Democracy Education in Challenging Political and Cultural Environments."

Participants in the workshop discussed common challenges to civic education, and recommended that an international forum for educators be established to share strategies and teaching materials; that national and international media networks provide education about democracy; that training seminars for young democrats be conducted; and that democracy educators facing persecution and other dangers be protected and defended.

During a second workshop, "Education for Democracy-Democracy for Education," organized by CIVITAS International, participants from various countries exchanged experiences and ideas on their work teaching democracy. They discussed the importance of civic education in emerging and established democracies, the need to make civic education available for both students and adult citizens, the value of long-term commitments to civic education, and the methodology required to cultivate the skills, values, and knowledge to motivate and inspire citizens.

We encourage you to review the workshop reports by visiting: www.wmd.org/second_assembly/topical/w-t16.html and
www.wmd.org/second_assembly/functional/w-f7.html.