Document Type

Article in Response to Controversy


Children and youth in the United States are bombarded and besieged with numerous demands, temptations, and enticements on their time, energy, attention, and allegiance. The magnitude and complexity of these are unprecedented. Whether positive or negative, they create a chaotic and confusing society that often sends conflicting and contradictory messages. The severity and complexity of human problems demand from children, youth, and adults “inclinations, dispositions, and knowledge quite different from those that have shaped, and continue to shape, our social identities and ideological outlooks, moral preferences, and attitudinal priorities” (Shapiro, 2009, p. 1). They also require an education different from many of the programmatic emphases that are currently in vogue. What are the salient features of the socio-economic, moral, and demographic character of U. S. society, and the kind of education students need to live more effectively in it, or to transform it? These are the questions of interest in the subsequent discussions.

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