Youth Civic Engagement
Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life
Harvard Graduate School of Education
Date: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Location: Boisi Center, Boston College
Abstract: The United States suffers from a civic empowerment gap that is as shameful and anti-democratic as the academic achievement gap targeted by No Child Left Behind. Schools--especially de facto segregated schools serving mostly low-income youth of color--should help reduce the civic empowerment gap by teaching collective action, openly discussing the racialized dimensions of citizenship, and provoking students by engaging their passions against contemporary injustices through action civics.
Meira Levinson is Associate Professor of Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research interests include civic education, multiculturalism, educational justice and youth empowerment. Levinson draws upon scholarship from multiple disciplines as well as her eight years of experience teaching in the Atlanta and Boston Public Schools and she is currently working on a project on “Justice in Schools” that will combine philosophical analysis and school-based case studies. Her recent published works include No Citizen Left Behind (Harvard University Press, 2012), Making Civics Count: Citizenship Education for a New Generation (Harvard Education Press, 2012), and The Demands of Liberal Education (Oxford University Press, 1999). She received a B.A. in Philosophy from Yale University and a Ph.D. in Politics from University of Oxford.