Educating Democratic Citizens in Troubled Times

Qualitative Studies of Current Efforts

Edited by Janet S. Bixby & Judith L. Pace

Subjects: Social Studies Education, Curriculum, Learning Theory, Social Context Of Education
Paperback : 9780791476406, 308 pages, November 2008
Hardcover : 9780791476390, 308 pages, November 2008

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

Walter C. Parker
1. Introduction: Studying Citizenship Education in Troubled Times
Judith L. Pace and Janet S. Bixby
Inside Classrooms
2. Teaching for Citizenship in 12th Grade Government Classes
Judith L. Pace
3. Connecting Diversity, Justice, and Democratic Citizenship: Lessons from an Alternative U.S. History Class
Anand R. Marri
4. Urban Youth and the Construction of Racialized and Classed Political Identities
Kysa Nygreen

5. Service-Learning as a Promising Approach to High School Civic Engagement
Susan Root and Shelley H. Billig
Inside Schools at Large
6. Democracy’s Practice Grounds: The Role of School Governance in Citizenship Education
Richard Battistoni
7. Civic Development in Context: The Influences of Local Contexts on High School Students’ Beliefs about Civic Engagement
Ellen Middaugh and Joseph Kahne
8. Examining the Treatment of 9/11 and Terrorism in High School Textbooks
Diana Hess, Jeremy Stoddard, and Shannon Murto
In the Community
9. Engaging Urban Youth in Civic Practice: Community-Based Youth Organizations as Alternative Sites for Democratic Education
Jennifer O’Donoghue and Ben Kirshner
10. To Think, Live, and Breathe Politics: Experiencing Democratic Citizenship in Chicago
Janet S. Bixby
11. Epilogue: Citizenship Education in Diverse Settings: Findings, Tensions, and Future Research
Judith L. Pace

Examines various aspects of citizen education programs that serve contemporary youth in the United States.


This book offers a groundbreaking examination of citizenship education programs that serve contemporary youth in schools and communities across the United States. These programs include social studies classes and curricula, school governance, and community-based education efforts. The book takes an interdisciplinary approach to exploring the experiences and perspectives of educators and youth involved in these civic education efforts. The contributors offer rich analyses of how mainstream and alternative programs are envisioned and enacted, and the most important factors that shape them. A variety of theoretical lenses and qualitative methodologies are used, including ethnography, focus group interviews, and content analyses of textbooks.

Janet S. Bixby is Associate Professor of Education at Lewis and Clark College. Judith L. Pace is Associate Professor of Education at the University of San Francisco and the coeditor (with Annette Hemmings) of Classroom Authority: Theory, Research, and Practice.


"…the editors and authors are energized to tackle the challenges of citizenship education and eager to share their insights with others." — American Journal of Education

"Read carefully and critically, the nine studies offer a treasure trove of best democratic practices to address the needs of 21st century citizens … Educating Democratic Citizens in Troubled Times is a must-read for social studies educators because it reminds us that good citizenship is much more than voting." — Theory and Research in Social Education

"…the editors have shown a clear vision by making sure the ten included studies focus on one of three areas of citizenship education: as it is formally taught in schools, as it relates to the field of public education as a whole, and as it moves from classroom to community. The studies are engaging and well written, and together offer a timely view of the state of educating for citizenship in the post-9/11 US." — CHOICE

"This book provides valuable information about what teaching and learning look like in specific contexts. It is particularly helpful in the range of settings included—from government and other social studies courses, to varied special projects and out-of-school programs. It is also insightful in looking at the topic from various perspectives—teachers, diverse young people, and curriculum materials." — Carole Hahn, author of Becoming Political: Comparative Perspectives on Citizenship Education