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The political classroom: Evidence and ethics in democratic education

Vincent Russell


Diana Hess and Paula McAvoy’s book, The Political Classroom: Evidence and Ethics in Democratic Education, succeeds in offering an ethical framework for the discussion of political topics in the classroom and provides practical insights both for educators who are new to in-class political discussions and for more experienced instructors who wish to revise/refine their pedagogical praxis. The authors argue that their book is unique because it “integrates social science research with philosophic thinking about ethical issues of teacher practice” (p. 9). This brief text contains a justification for the necessity of political classrooms, three case studies, and an ethical framework for democratic education. Their research and conclusions are compelling, but critics may find that Hess and McAvoy fail to adequately address issues of power and justice.

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