By Marvin Beckerman posted 05-31-2022 11:38:50 PM



You’ve possibly heard the old question “What’s the difference between ignorance and apathy?” And the proverbial response “I don’t know and I don’t care”.

There is widespread evidence of limited civic knowledge of government by the American public and low confidence in its leadership. There is also evidence of a growing indifference in engagement among the citizenry.

Tom Nichols in his book OUR OWN WORST ENEMY documents how a lack of civic virtue and expectations that the government can take care of citizens’ needs is a threat to our system of government. The state is strengthened while citizen engagement declines.

What do you think? What should be the role of civic education to reverse this trend?

1 comment



12-01-2022 08:43:55 PM

I think the quote about ignorance and apathy reigns true. As a teacher of 14 year olds, they are both ignorant to civics and the roles they can take on as a citizen and they are disinterested in their government. As a person who has always loved politics and government, it is always shocking for me to see others so disinterested. I personally took it on as my role as a civics teacher to help reverse this trend. Creating fun lessons and making civics feel relatable to my students has changed the every day attitude in my class. We play simulations and games, partake in creative projects, host debates, and contact local government leaders. Reminding students that even at 14 they are active citizens who can use their voice and should use their voice has created a positive space to want to be engaged.