Embodied civic education: The corporeality of a civil body politic

Open access

Abstract

This study explores the lived experience of democratic civic education for middle school students. Grounded in the tradition of hermeneutic phenomenology as guided by Heidegger (1962), Gadamer (1960/2003), Casey (1993), and Levinas (1961/2004), among others, the framework for conducting action-sensitive research, as described by van Manen (2003), guides this inquiry as I endeavor to uncover what it means for students to embody civic education. Twenty-nine students are taped engaging in discussions, debates, simulations, and other civic education. Twelve students self-select to engage in reflective writing and conversations about their experiences.

The existential theme of lived body emerges from this inquiry. The importance of embodying one’s learning, as well as connecting physically and socially to one’s society are apparent. The students’ learning through their corporeal experience serves to create the civil body politic of the classroom and inform their behavior outside of the classroom. Insights from this study may inform curriculum theorists and developers, policy-makers, and classroom teachers. Recommendations are made to transform the social studies for students to capitalize on their bodily experiences within the classroom so that they may grow in their role as a citizen. Students may then embody the ideals essential in civic education and democratic societies

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Ayers W. (2004). Teaching toward freedom: Moral commitment and ethical action in the classroom. Boston: Beacon Press Barnhart R. K. (1988). Chambers dictionary of etymology. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company.

  • Branson M. (2003). The importance of promoting civic education. An Address to the 2nd Annual Scholars Conference Sponsered by the Center for Civic Education. Pasedena CA. Retrieved September 2006 from http://www.civiced.org

  • Breault D. (2005). Work in school. In D. Breault & R. Breault (Eds.). Experiencing Dewey: Insights for today’s classroom. (pp. 18-20). Indianapolis Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education.

  • Casey E. (1993). Getting back into place: Toward a renewed understanding of the place-world. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

  • Casey E. (2000). Remembering: A phenomenological study. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

  • Center for Civic Education. (1998). We the people: The citizen and the Constitution: Teacher’s guide level II. Calabasas CA.

  • Csordas T. (1999). Embodiment and cultural phenomenology. In G. Weiss & H. Haber (Eds.) Perspectives on embodiment: The intersections of nature and culture. (pp. 143-162). New York: Routledge.

  • Dewey J. (1897). My pedagogic creed. The School Journal LIV (3) pp. 77-80. Retrieved November 2004 from http://www.infed.org/archives/e-texts/e-dew-pc.htm.

  • Dewey J. (1916) Democracy and education. Retrieved April 2006 from http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Democracy_and_Education#The_Democratic_Conception_in_Education

  • Gutman A. (1999). Democratic education. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press.

  • Hale D. (2003). Analogy of the body politic. The Dictionary of the History of Ideas Electronic Text Center. Retrieved July 2006 from http://etext.virginia.edu/DicHist/dict.html

  • Heidegger M. (1962). Being and time. New York: Harper & Row.

  • Heidegger M (1993a). Introduction to being and time. In D.F. Krell (Ed.) Basic writings (pp. 37-87) New York: HarperCollins. (Original work published 1927) Heidegger M. (1993b). What calls for thinking? In D.F. Krell (Ed.) Basic writings (pp. 365-391) New York: HarperCollins. (Original work published 1954) Hirshfield J. (2001). A Hand. In Given sugar given salt. HarperCollins. Retrieved October 2005 from http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19011

  • Lakoff G. & Johnson M. (1980). Metaphors we live by. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Lawrence D.H. (1929) Stand up! Retrieved April 2006 from Online text copyright © 2003 Ian Lancashire for the Department of English University of Toronto.

  • Locke J. (1620) Two treatises on civil government. Retrieved July 2006 from http:// www.lonang.com/exlibris/locke/loc-208.htm

  • Mayflower Compact. (1620) Retrieved August 2005 from www.law.ou.edu/hist/mayflow.htm

  • Merleau-Ponty M. (2005). Phenomenology of perception (Routledge & Kegan Paul Trans.). New York: Routledge Classics. (Original work published 1945) Parker W.C. (2003). Teaching democracy: Unity and diversity in public life. New York: Teachers College Press.

  • Reddy M. (1979). The Conduit Metaphor. In A. Ortony ed. Metaphor and Thought. Cambridge England: At the University Press.

  • Sartre J.P. (1995) Being and nothingness. An essay on phenomenological ontology (H. Barnes Trans.). London: Routledge. (Original work published 1943) Schubert W. (2005). Active learning as reflective experience. In D. Breault & R. Breault (Eds.). Experiencing Dewey: Insights for today’s classroom (pp. 12-16). Indianapolis IN: Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education.

  • Todes S. (2001). Body and world. Cambridge MA: The MIT Press.

  • Van Manen M. (2003). Researching lived experience: Human science for and action sensitive pedagogy. London Ontario: Althouse Press.

  • Westheimer J. & Kahne J. (2004 summer). What kind of citizen? The politics of educating for democracy. American Educational Research Journal 41 (2) 237-269.

Search
Journal information
Impact Factor
CiteScore 2018: 0.34

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.126
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.266

Cited By
Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 939 825 55
PDF Downloads 819 774 8