Education for Citizenship in an Era of Global Connection
Higher education makes an important contribution to citizenship. In the United States, the required portion of the “liberal arts education” in colleges and universities can be reformed so as to equip students for the challenges of global citizenship. This chapter advocates focusing on three abilities: (1) the Socratic ability to criticize one’s own traditions and to carry on an argument on terms of mutual respect for reason; (2) the ability to think as a citizen of the whole world, not just some local region or group; and (3) the “narrative imagination,” the ability to imagine what it would be like to be in the position of someone very different from oneself. This chapter discusses the role of the “liberal arts” curriculum in US education and asks how European universities, with their different structure, might promote these three abilities.