By Kerry T. Burch
What will it take for the yank humans to enact a extra democratic model of themselves? the way to greater train democratic minds and democratic hearts? in accordance with those the most important predicaments, this leading edge publication proposes that rather than ignoring or repressing the conflicted nature of yankee identification, those conflicts may be well-known as websites of pedagogical chance.
Kerry Burch revives 8 primary items of political public rhetoric into dwelling artifacts, into provocative tools of democratic pedagogy. From "The Pursuit of Happiness" to "The Military-Industrial Complex," Burch invitations readers to come across the fertile contradictions pulsating on the middle of yankee identification, remodeling this conflicted symbolic terrain right into a web site of pedagogical research and improvement. the training idea embodied within the constitution of the publication breaks new floor when it comes to deepening and increasing what it potential to "teach the conflicts" and invitations fit reader participation with America's defining civic controversies. the result's a hugely teachable booklet within the culture of A People's historical past of the U.S. and Lies My instructor informed Me.
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Extra resources for Democratic Transformations: Eight Conflicts in the Negotiation of American Identity
22 While this measure was defeated in the Virginia legislature, as was his far-reaching educational proposals, the point is that Jefferson envisioned a nation of small freeholders in which land ownership and wealth was relatively evenly distributed. According to Jefferson, the realization of the pursuit of happiness (with its ideal harmonization of private and public) could only occur within a democratically organized social and economic structure, as this was the only sound basis upon which richer and more engaged civic personalities could develop.
If, in this connection, the pursuit of happiness was deployed as a guiding metric for rejuvenating both civic education and spiritual democracy within the schools, it would surely represent an audacious and life-affirming reclamation of this Socratic-Jeffersonian-Deweyan tradition. ”28 This historical perversion of the ideal of individuality resulted in false conceptions of happiness while also undermining the very idea of a democratic American identity. 30 14 Democratic Transformations The pursuit of happiness and the renaissance of civic virtue How tragically ironic it is that the public schools today are organized according to pure Lockean principles: A system where property counts most and where possessive individualism is sweetly ordained in a thousand different ways.
18 Hannah Arendt and John Dewey on Jefferson’s legacy Hannah Arendt’s comparative study of modern revolutions further affirms the principle that “public happiness” was identified in eighteenth century America as the central purpose of government. What may be surprising to twenty-first century readers is the degree to which the principle of public happiness was legitimized by a widely shared public consensus. According to Arendt: This freedom they called later, when they came to taste it, “public happiness,” and it consisted in the citizen’s right of access to the public realm, in his share in public power—to be a “participator in the government of affairs” in Jefferson’s telling phrase.