Educating for Citizenship

KCAC's "Educating for Citizenship" theme was woven into our work throughout the honors seminar, rather than linked to a particular cluster of topics or texts. For example, as we studied the history of the Cherokee in Georgia and in the U.S., students repeatedly asked why the nineteenth-century Cherokees' efforts to Americanize-e.g., adopting legislative bodies similar to those used by the United States, changing their style of dress, starting a tribal newspaper printed in English and in Cherokee-did not earn them the acceptance they sought. Students raised similar questions regarding attitudes toward immigrants working in the suburbs today. Similarly, as we moved from taking pictures of the suburbs around us to considering ways that local legislation might have an impact on suburban sprawl, a number of class members became strong supporters of a local campaign for one Atlanta county to raise funds for the purchase of public "green spaces." Thus, in this course, studying the "Educating for Citizenship" theme included both a re-view of how various communities have tried to carry out citizenship roles in the past and an ongoing consideration of how we might best educate ourselves today to be informed and proactive citizens.

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a project funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities