Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Sarah M. Stitzlein's "Learning How to Hope"

Sarah M. Stitzlein is a Professor of Education and Affiliate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cincinnati. She is also President of the John Dewey Society, Co-Editor of the journal, Democracy & Education, and Co-Director of the Center for Hope & Justice Education. As a philosopher of education, she uses political philosophy to uncover problems in education, analyze educational policy, and envision better alternatives. She is especially interested in issues of political agency, educating for democracy, and equity in schools.

Stitzlein applied the “Page 99 Test” to her latest book, Learning How to Hope: Reviving Democracy through our Schools and Civil Society, and reported the following:
Page 99 begins with an important point about democracy, explaining that it’s not “merely a formal matter—bound up in documents, officials, policies, and procedures—but rather, is a way of life.” As a way of life, democracy is something that we enact regularly in our daily lives and we develop habits that enable us to do so.

Page 99 gets as an important idea in the book: developing democratic habits. These are habits that help us to engage in democracy as a way of life. The book overall argues that hope is a democratic habit. Hope is a habit that disposes us toward possibility, urging us to improve our lives and those of others. As a habit, hope is something that we can nurture and develop through education.

This book responds to hopelessness in America today and growing frustrations between political parties and with democracy as a whole. I explain what hope is, why it matters to democracy, and how we might teach for it in schools and civil society.
Visit Sarah M. Stitzlein's website.

The Page 99 Test: American Public Education and the Responsibility of its Citizens.

--Marshal Zeringue