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date: 17 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Public schools are one of the quintessential civic institutions in the United States, with extraordinary reach into citizens’ lives. Public schools are entrusted with the civic responsibility to educate students with the knowledge, skills, and values required to contribute to the common good of our diverse society. This chapter connects the civic educational mission of public schools with the political and moral tradition of the common good, with a sketch of what may be called “civic education for the common good.” The first section discusses the concept of the common good and explains why religious freedom is an essential component. The second section distinguishes between civic virtue and the civic virtues, and describes which of the latter must be inculcated in schools to sustain the former. The final section argues that the common good is best served by a form of common education that is neither homogeneous nor radically pluralistic.

Keywords: religion, public schools, religious freedom, religious liberty, politics, common schools, civic education

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