This course name and description ONLY applies to academic year 2016-2017

SOC 13181-2: Schooling and Civic Participation in American Society

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Instructor: David Sikkink

This course investigates how elementary and high schools influence moral and civic formation of students. It focuses on how school organization and culture shape public and private virtues, including civic commitments and volunteering as well as moral commitments in personal and family life. By comparing religious and nonreligious schools, the course seeks to understand how schools can better prepare Americans to be active and productive citizens in our democracy. It seeks to answer questions such as: How and why do schools make a difference in forming good citizens? What organizational and cultural characteristics of schools affect the life directions of students? What social trends and structures create obstacles to an effective civic and moral education in schools? What advantages and disadvantages do religious schools have for moral and civic education? This class will strive to use the tools of sociology to analyze moral and civic formation, and to improve analytical and writing skills through class discussion and essays. The goal is to improve the state of civic and moral education in the U.S. by understanding from a sociological perspective how schools work and how they could be improved.