Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Agents and Architects of Democracy: The Struggle for the Future of Higher Education

It's been an absolute pleasure for me to serve on an International Public Achievement working group these past few months because of the people involved and the possibilities for growth of an amazing program! I want to pass on word about an upcoming and similarly-focused webcast that Professor Harry Boyte, of the Center for Democracy and Citizenship, will be moderating next month. To explore the history and future of civic agency as an organizing theme for higher education, the panel is prompted by this provocative question:

How can higher education reverse the disturbing trends we see occurring:
pressures for higher education to become increasingly a private good with
students as customers, institutions as industries, and competitive success
measured by how many are refused admission?
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
3:00 PM–4:00 PM Eastern
2:00 PM–3:00 PM Central
1:00 PM–2:00 PM Mountain
12:00 PM–1:00 PM Pacific
An emerging focus on agency—how people develop the skills, confidence, and
outlook to become shapers of their lives and communities and agents of change –
can help. Civic Agency is visible across the world. It appears in development
efforts in Africa; in the writings of development scholars reflecting on World
Bank and UNDP experiences; and in pioneering work around the world on public
health, resource management, global climate change, and education reform. Higher
education has been slow to focus on this issue. Yet promising signs are
emerging, particularly in the effort by scholars to define an emergent “civic
field,” and the first Institute of Civic Studies this summer at Tufts. Could
civic agency become a core focus of higher education in the 21st century?
Learn more about the webcast and registration details here. The fast-paced one-hour program will offer an opportunity for questions and answers during the program. If you have a question now for presenters that you recommend they address during the program, email your question to

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