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Education for a Civil Society: How Guidance Teaches Young Children Democratic Life Skills

Dan Gartrell
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This collection of essays argues that it matters that children gain, through teacher guidance, the social-emotional skills they need to succeed in and participate civilly in modern life. Part One establishes historical roots for the type of education that prepares children for this participation. Part Two makes the case that three best practices in early childhood education offer the approach to education for democracy that society needs. Part Three provides anecdotes and case studies to illustrate how guidance fosters the development of the five democratic life skills. 


“Children learning that ‘I am angry’ trumps ‘You dumb butthead’ is more than humor and anecdote in Dan Gartrell’s book. This is a trip through history, neuroscience, guidance, and examination of what education should be—self-respect together with mutual respect. A must-read for educators, teacher educators, and future educators alike.”
— Karen Cairone, Devereux Center for Resilient Children