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Pragmatism and Empiricism in American Religious Thought Unit and Transformative Scholarship and Pedagogy Unit

Call for Proposals for November Meeting

Cultivating Democratic Practices in and around the Classroom

A common defense of the humanities is that it prepares students for democratic citizenship by teaching skills like critical thinking, self-reflection, open-mindedness, and civil discourse. Relative to these core tenets, at a time where both democracy and higher education appear to be under attack, we invite papers that highlight the practical work educators can do in the classroom to cultivate critical thinking and democratic habits in our students.

Informed by thought leaders such as Dewey, Freire, hooks and others, we invite papers that address how we might enact spaces in our classrooms that help mitigate the challenges posed to both our democracy and our educational institutions.

We welcome papers that frame the classroom as a training ground for democracy and address how educators can equip students to navigate a diversity of thought, integrate new and challenging ideas, and understand themselves to be engaged in a lifelong process of learning. We encourage presentations that “show” rather than “tell” by engaging the audience in demonstrations or participatory activities. Additionally, we are open to critiques and reassessments of the idea of the classroom as a training ground for democracy.



Steering Committee Members


Review Process

Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection