Political Involvement, the Advocacy of Process, and the Religion Classroom

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Book Chapter

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A frequent reason given for civic engagement in higher education is to encourage involvement in political processes. However, this might lead to controversy, because in some cases classroom projects ask students to takes sides (or even take action) on a political issue. This chapter is a call for an advocacy of process—advocacy toward the process of energetic and informed political involvement—on the part of the professor. First, it is made clear what might be meant by informed involvement in the political sphere, especially as this relates to civic skills. Next, the discussion turns to what the role and responsibility of educators are in fostering informed involvement, based on an advocacy of process. Finally, consideration is given to the challenges that can occur when including explicit political involvement in the classroom, including the perception of indoctrination and the issue of assessing assignments related to political involvement.

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