Reflection on the Science of Citizenship

In reading, The Science of Citizenship written by Belle Boggs, I found the article to coincide with my understandings of what our public education lacks nationwide. I was not surprised to read, Lawrence had never been told how a cell works. I am only saddened by the idea, “the richest country in the world still struggles to educate our citizens about science and to make that education relevant and present in their daily lives” (para. 7). I pause at the notion that a highly functioning society cannot create a public education system that holds the ability to consistently teach students across America, the basic skills needed to be highly functioning citizens. Or is it that we have these abilities; yet, America includes those citizens who do not prioritize these foundational pillars of knowledge (ie cultural literacy)? Boggs climactic moment is written within the following words,

If American citizens are to have any chance of speaking truth to power, they will need to have a better handle on the truth part. They will need to be better educated, and the science classroom will have to be political — not in the partisan sense, but in the sense of the Greek word politikos: of, for, or relating to citizens. The science classroom will need to prepare them for engagement in our democratic society, to make choices that affect their lives and their communities (para. 22).

    She is preaching to the choir here with most of us future educators. Right? Unfortunately, as I reflect on those words and in addition to my question; I remember conversations from my fellow classmates here at Idaho State University and with students those around the United States in regards to preparing citizens to make a better engaged and educated democratic society… they are not in agreement. They say: politics needs to be taken out of education, the government needs to be removed from the public education system, and they do not want to provide students with the ability to make a better society, they want to better individuals so they can be good strong readers, writers, and critical thinkers ready for the workforce. I disagree. Public Education was built on the opportunity to create an educated and engaged democratic society and should remain its overarching purpose; reading, writing, math, science, art, music, P.E, etc.

    The teaching of the whole child, mentally, physically, emotionally; no matter what socioeconomic class they were born into. None of these foundational pillars of knowledge should be considered a luxury; they should all be considered the norm. America has the ability to create an educated and engaged democratic society, the citizens need to choose whether or not it is their priority.

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Thank you for reading my post. Please comment with any questions, concerns, constructive criticisms, or information you would like to add to this subject. Docendo discimus, by teaching we learn.