9-12 Virginia

Democracy in Danger: Political Extremism

This inquiry leads students through an investigation of the challenges posed by hate groups to young people as a lens for understanding the problems posed by xenophobia more broadly.  It is part of a series of lessons commissioned by the Democracy Project at the University of Virginia centered around the podcast Democracy in Danger.   Democracy in Danger lessons share some basic characteristics.  The compelling question will always start with the stem– “What should we do about .. because that is an essential question we must ask of all of our citizens.  In this case, the issue at hand is the recruitment of young people by hate groups.   Additionally, Democracy in Danger lessons will lead students through a problem analysis characterized by the 4A approach (assess the problem, analyze the causes and effects of the problem, address  potential solutions to the problem, act on a potential solution.   We hope to make this type of problem analysis process a routine that young people can transfer to any new challenge that we face in our democracy and that it will pave the way for healthy deliberation with their fellow students, to collaboratively act together, and to forge healthy civic relationships that will strengthen our democracy.[1]

[1] Levine, P. (2016). The Question Each Citizen Must Ask. Educational leadership, 73(6), 30-34.