In Teaching Democracy, Walter Parker makes a unique and thoughtful contribution to the hot debate between proponents of multicultural education and those who favor a cultural literacy approach. Parker conclusively demonstrates that educating for democratic citizenship in a multicultural society includes a fundamental respect for diversity.

This scholarly yet accessible work:

  • Bridges the widening gap between multicultural education and civic education.
  • Provides powerful teaching strategies that educators can use to draw children creatively and productively into a way of life that protects and nurtures cultural pluralism and racial equity.
  • Explains the unity—diversity confusion that is found in popular media as well as in multicultural- and citizenship-education initiatives
  • Defines deliberative discussion and explores its promise as the centerpiece of democratic education in schools, both elementary and secondary.

Walter C. Parker is Professor of Education, Chair of Social Studies Education, and Adjunct Professor of Political Science, University of Washington-Seattle.

Comments on the Book by Leading Scholars

"At a moment in time when our connection to the nation seems superficial and jingoistic, Walter Parker offers us a vehicle to reach our ideal of deliberative committed civic participation for every citizen. This book explores the hard work of citizen-making in a diverse and complex society where individual and group interests often are in conflict. Parker makes us realize that in a democracy ‘public’ is not a dirty word and schooling should not be punishment."

— Gloria Ladson Billings, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"This book deals in an engaging and thought-provoking way with both social realities and democratic possibilitiesñexactly what I try to do in my classroom."

—Wendy Ewbank, teacher, Seattle Girls’ School

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