In the first part of the course, we will examine the central ideals of a democratic society – liberty, equality and diversity. In the second part, we imagine ourselves as the framers of a political system like the United States by tackling two fundamental questions. First, what curriculum would best prepare citizens for life in a society that values the democratic ideals of liberty, equality and diversity? Second, how should we organize a system of education in a large nation like the United States that is composed of many states and thousands of local communities? While thinking critically about democracy and education, we will draw upon great works in political philosophy and enter into major policy debates. By the end of the course, we will have built an original model of what the ideal system of education for democracy would look like.
*Class capped at 25 students.
Dr. Michael Callaghan Pisapia graduated from Amherst College with a B.A. in Political and Social Thought and from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a Ph.D. in political science. He teaches courses on American politics and political theory. His dissertation, Public Education and the Role of Women in American Political Development, 1852-1979, won the American Political Science Association’s 2011 William Anderson Award, and is being revised into a book manuscript. He won a 2013 Carrie Chapman Catt Prize for scholarship on women and politics, in support of his research. Michael lives in Winston-Salem with his wife Page, and their four children, Sophia, Darian, Amalia and Elliot.