Education for a Civil Society: How Guidance Teaches Young Children Democratic Life Skills
About the Book
It matters that children gain, through teacher guidance, the social-emotional skills they need to succeed and participate civilly in modern, democratic society. It matters to them—and to all of us.
Today's early childhood educators are looking for education models that tap into each child's full learning potential and educate all children toward active participation in democracy. Tracing the historical roots of progressive education, and using anecdotes and case studies, Dan Gartrell argues that best practices in early childhood education, which include family-teacher partnerships, developmentally appropriate curriculum and assessment, and guidance, provide the framework for what the new education model for all levels of schooling should be: educating children for civil participation in society.
Through the use of guidance, Gartrell explains, teachers empower children to progress toward the five democratic life skills. These skills give young children the tools they need to function intelligently and ethically amidst the complexity and diversity of modern human life—and to ensure and sustain civil society into the next century.
Dan Gartrell started his career in education as a teacher at an inner-city elementary school in Ohio and later taught in the Head Start program of the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota. He holds a doctorate in teacher education/early childhood and is professor emeritus of Early Childhood and Foundations Education at Bemidji State University in Minnesota.
In this volume, respected guidance expert Dan Gartrell takes on a societal challenge that is absolutely critical today: promoting civility. He makes the case that starting in early childhood is crucial. With his thoughtfulness and depth of experience, store of delightful anecdotes, and engaging and comfortable style, Dan puts civility in the context of best early childhood practices and shows us how to foster it in our classrooms.
—Carol Copple, coeditor of Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8
Children learning that "I am angry" trumps "You dumb butthead" is more than humor and anecdote in Dan Gartrell’s book. This is a trip through history, neuroscience, guidance, and examination of what education should be—self-respect together with mutual respect. A must-read for educators, teacher educators, and future educators alike.
—Karen Cairone, Devereux Center for Resilient Children