Is the commercial spirit good for civic virtue? Consider the status of virtue in a democratic society devoted to gain and self-interest as editors Amy A. Kass and Leon R. Kass discuss Mark Twain’s story with David Brooks (New York Times). Includes a discussion guide and model conversation.
The founders understood that, in order to preserve their liberty and happiness, and that of future generations, the foundation of successful self-government was citizens who understood and applied certain virtues. They constructed the U.S. Constitution according to their study of the principles and virtues that were most necessary to sustain a free, prosperous, and orderly society. This lesson is ideal for the first day of school.
This guide, written by John J. Patrick, explains the core concepts of democracy in a clear A-Z format. The complete book is available for download.
This selection is taken from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. This excerpt focuses on self-improvement, specifically the pursuit of “moral perfection” through carefully structured and documented practice. Through textual analysis and group discussion, students will reflect on their own personal value systems and articulate principles by which they choose to live. Common Core-aligned. Includes a model discussion.
Does our obligation to uphold the law admit of exceptions? Debate the elementary civic virtue of law-abidingness and the appropriateness of civil disobedience as editors Amy A. Kass, Leon R. Kass, and Diana Schaub discuss Susan Glaspell’s story with Christopher DeMuth. Includes discussion guide and model conversation. Common Core-aligned.
What do we owe our neighbors and fellow citizens? Reflect on the need for the virtue of compassion and civic attitudes toward our neighbors as editors Amy A. Kass, Leon R. Kass, and Diana Schaub discuss Herman Melville’s story with Wilfred M. McClay (University of Oklahoma). Includes a discussion guide and model conversation.
What kind of religious beliefs and practices support civic freedom and virtue? Compare two guiding ideas of the American republic—the pursuit of happiness and the spirit of reverence—as editors Amy A. Kass, Leon R. Kass, and Diana Schaub discuss Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story with Yuval Levin (Ethics and Public Policy Center). Includes a discussion guide and model conversation.