Apathy, distrust, and nonparticipation
In a recent guest post advocating better civics instruction, former U.S. Senator John Culver said:
Many young people leave school lacking even a rudimentary understanding of how their government works and how it affects their lives. This lack of understanding leads to a lack of interest, a lack of trust and a lack of participation.
In my comment to his post, I said:
Another reason that students lack interest, trust, or participation in governmental affairs is that many of them are quite cynical about whether Constitutional freedoms even exist. As a 2003 report from the First Amendment Center noted, "Students will not learn the lessons of democracy if they cannot experience firsthand the freedom to make their own choices." And yet so much of school (and, let's be honest, home) is about control and lack of trust. Few students get a chance to meaningfully participate in decision-making about their own learning. School restrictions (and accompanying lawsuits) regarding student speech, expression, and behavior have escalated over the past few decades.
Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, ruling for the majority in West Virginia v. Barnette, said that the Court must ensure "scrupulous protection of constitutional freedoms of the individual, if we are not to strangle the free mind at its source and teach youth to discount important principles of our government as mere platitudes." Why would we expect young people to be active, engaged citizens upon graduation when they rarely, if ever, get to see their supposed 'freedoms' at work? Are we surprised that young adults are apathetic (or is it just realistic?) when their primary interaction with government - school - is in a limiting, suppressive environment that, at every turn, tells them that their voice doesn't matter? Unlike Athena, who was supposedly born fully-formed from the head of Zeus, our students need practice with both the rights and responsibilities of democratic citizenship before they graduate if we are to accomplish our desire to have an interested, involved citizenry.
What do you think? Do students get adequate opportunities in schools to see their Constitutional rights and responsibilities at work?
Upvote/downvote each of the videos below!
As you vote, keep in mind that we are looking for a winner with the most engaging social venture pitch - an idea you would want to invest in.
"Earth" features about 30 of the biggest names in entertainment.
- Lil Dicky is a rapper and comedian who released his debut album in 2015.
- His new music video, "Earth," features artists such as Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheehan, Kevin Hart, and Leonardo DiCaprio.
- All proceeds of the music video will go to environmental causes, Dicky said.
Some evidence attributes a certain neurological phenomenon to a near death experience.
Time of death is considered when a person has gone into cardiac arrest. This is the cessation of the electrical impulse that drive the heartbeat. As a result, the heart locks up. The moment the heart stops is considered time of death. But does death overtake our mind immediately afterward or does it slowly creep in?
- A forensic artist in Scotland has made a hyper realistic model of an ancient dog.
- It was based on the skull of a dog dug up in Orkney, Scotland, which lived and died 4,000 years ago.
- The model gives us a glimpse of some of the first dogs humans befriended.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.