Societies have long had an interest in the ways in which their young are prepared for citizenship and in how they learn to take part in civic life. Today that interest might better be described as a concern-in fact as a growing concern, particularly in democratic societies. There is evidence aplenty that no country has achieved the level of understanding and acceptance of the rights and responsibilities among the totality of its citizens that is required for the maintenance and improvement of any constitutional democracy.
We should realize that civic education is essential to sustain our constitutional democracy. The habits of the mind, as well as “habits of the heart,” the dispositions that inform the democratic ethos, are not inherited.