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2019 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting
June 5, 2019 - June 8, 2019
The 2019 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting (CLDE19) is a conference intended to facilitate exchanges of knowledge and develop a sense of community around our shared civic learning and democratic engagement work. This meeting is designed around our emergent theory of change which poses four important questions:
Purpose: What are the key features of the thriving democracy we aspire to enact and support through our work?
Learning Outcomes: What knowledge, skills, and dispositions do people need in order to help create and contribute to a thriving democracy?
Pedagogy: How can we best foster the acquisition and development of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for a thriving democracy?
Strategy: How can we build the institutional culture, infrastructure, and relationships needed to support learning that enables a thriving democracy?
The theory of change also suggests that campuses consider how best to construct campus cultures and contexts that foster:
Civic Ethos of campus: The infusion of democratic values into the customs and habits of everyday practices, structures, and interactions; the defining character of the institution and those in it that emphasizes open-mindedness, civility, the worth of each person, ethical behaviors, and concern for the well-being of others; a spirit of public-mindedness that influences the goals of the institution and its engagement with local and global communities.
Civic Literacy & Skill Building as a goal for every student: The cultivation of foundational knowledge about fundamental principles and debates about democracy expressed over time, both within the United States and in other countries; familiarity with several key historical struggles, campaigns, and social movements undertaken to achieve the full promise of democracy; the ability to think critically about complex issues and to seek and evaluate information about issues that have public consequences.
Civic Inquiry integrated within the majors and general education: The practice of inquiring about the civic dimensions and public consequences of a subject of study; the exploration of the impact of choices on different constituencies and entities, including the planet; the deliberate consideration of differing points of views; the ability to describe and analyze civic intellectual debates within one’s major or areas of study.
Civic Action as lifelong practice: The capacity and commitment both to participate constructively with diverse others and to work collectively to address common problems; the practice of working in a pluralistic society and world to improve the quality of people’s lives and the sustainability of the planet; the ability to analyze systems in order to plan and engage in public action; the moral and political courage to take risks to achieve a greater public good.
Civic Agency involves the capacities of citizens to work collaboratively across differences like partisan ideology, faith traditions, income, geography, race, and ethnicity to address common challenges, solve problems and create common ground; requires a set of individual skills, knowledge, and predispositions; also involves questions of institutional design, particularly how to constitute groups and institutions for sustainable collective action.
Participants will have opportunities to network and develop their civic-minded thinking and practices through engaging plenary sessions, informative general interest sessions, interactive workshops, research and program-based poster sessions, roundtable discussions as well as in working groups and in informal expert led forums.