Call for Papers: “Education: Purpose, Practice, and Prospects”

Education is facing a crisis: it is increasingly divorced from efficacious citizenship. This crisis is linked to the widely felt crisis in democracy itself, understood not only as a system of formal governance but as a way of life which sustains and enhances civic agency—the individual and collective capacity for meaningful social action.

To address these related crises—and in recognition of a new institutional home at the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development—The Good Society invites submissions exploring the purpose, practice, and prospects of education, broadly conceived. What is the purpose of education in societies aspiring to democracy? How has that purpose been conceived and realized historically, across cultures and time? How do current educational practices and policies reflect, achieve, or fail to advance it in various local, national, and global settings? What are the likely consequences, for today and for the future?

These questions are urgent. Take the United States, where public schools and institutions of higher learning were originally conceived to deliver a public good: citizens with skills and opportunity to advance their own wellbeing, the wellbeing of their communities, and the “general welfare” of society. Today many Americans view education as a means to personal wealth and security: a private good, increasingly burdensome for those without wealth to attain. Americans are also dissatisfied with a political system they view as in thrall to economic elites, whose narrow and divergent priorities preclude concerted action in the public interest. Amid such conditions, hundreds of colleges, universities, schools, and communities are working to reclaim or forge new roles as creators and sustainers of a democratic culture.

Such efforts should be known and compared, along with similar efforts in countries worldwide. Thus we invite papers of 6,000 to 8,000 words from scholars and practitioners in any field who are making serious inquiry into the role of education, in and beyond the classroom, in fostering empowered and responsible citizenship and a democratic way of life. Submissions will be considered for publication in The Good Society, an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal and the flagship journal of the Civic Studies field.

Possible topics include: historical alternatives in education; comparative perspectives on education; education in a pluralistic society; education for global citizenship; education beyond the classroom; local and national aspects of education; translating educational theory into practice; innovation in education; and the economics of education. (NB: Future possible issue themes might include civic approaches to combatting corruption; the politics, economics, and diplomacy of public health; the relationship between civic renewal and climate change; etc.)

Please submit papers by September 15 to:

For more information regarding this call, contact Trygve Throntveit, editor,

For more information on Civic Studies, visit

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