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Outside in: a critically compassionate approach to education for civic engagement

Thomas Lucey (School of Teaching and Learning, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois, USA)
Mary Frances Agnello (Department of International Liberal Arts, Akita University, Akita, Japan)
James Duke Laney (Department of Teacher Education and Administration, College of Education, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)

Social Studies Research and Practice

ISSN: 1933-5415

Article publication date: 20 November 2017




The purpose of this paper is to describe a method for preparing teacher candidates to educate for civic engagement through a philosophy of critical compassion.


It begins with an examination of citizenship’s contextual relevancy and the importance of developing citizens who possess the adaptability to practice compassion in a variety of contexts. It provides a series of example art-based discussion activities founded on the principles of introspection and community. Such activities offer potential to foster a compassionate sense of personal self-worth with candidates through a sense of inner care.


Candidates develop a sense of self-appreciation sourced independently from patterns of social controls and promoting an empathy toward other people that they, in turn, can develop in their students.


These processes offer potential to empower candidates to view citizenship as a process of social engagement that respects the equitable contribution of all participants.



Lucey, T., Agnello, M.F. and Laney, J.D. (2017), "Outside in: a critically compassionate approach to education for civic engagement", Social Studies Research and Practice, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 295-309.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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