Martha Nussbaum argues eloquently for the kind of thinkers we need in our modern world, identifying three abilities crucial for citizenship in a pluralistic, democratic society enmeshed in a globalized world: the capacity for Socratic self- criticism and critical thought about one’s own traditions; the ability to see oneself as a member of a heterogeneous nation and world; and the ability to sympathetically imagine the lives of people different from oneself.
“Democracy needs citizens who can think for themselves rather than deferring to authority and who can reason together about their choices rather than simply trading claims and counterclaims.”
- Nussbaum quoting Socrates
Civic Engagement: encourages students to be contributing community members on all levels, and to participate in the running and advocating of those communities.
Civic engagement is the last of the pillars and the culmination of the first three. The four pillars are all significant to Liberal Education, but the hope is to eventually reach civic engagement and give back. Using the breadth of knowldege acquired and connecting disciplines together while critically evaluating them is done for personal growth, but more importantly so that we become better global citizens. Global alludes to the whole world, especially with the developing technologies and opportunities out there, but also refers to our role within our country, province, and more specifically the city we live in. Throughout and thereafter a liberal education, engaging within one's community, whether locally or globally, is the perfect route to use all the skills and competencies of the four pillar model. Hands on experience, through our contribution to society, will further these skills.
Civic Engagement Articles
Below are articles that specifically tie into the civic engagement pillar. There is a variety of content, opinions, and positions throughout these articles. This is a good place to start looking through resources for the essay that needs to be written as well as a place for the curious eye to wander and catch an interesting article to read.
Civic Engagement Skills and Competencies
- Understanding complex social issues from multiple viewpoints
- Questioning mind, curiosity
- Ability to work toward public good
- Making informed and evidence-based decisions
- Leadership skills
- Using global perspectives
- Engaging difference
- Transcultural understanding