Though Blanchet and Deters' message speaks to me as a civics teacher, it is also a powerful reminder of the role we all have as citizens to prepare the youth for their role as citizens. They have provided easy to implement strategies that I look forward to implementing in my classroom and in my own family. These strategies help us to be more intentional in nourishing citizenship with actions many of us are already taking in our interaction with youth.
While organized for educators, this book presents information that can help all of us to have better conversations with family members, friends and strangers, fewer episodes of pointless arguing, and more optimism about working together in our communities. It's clearly organized and presented and, frankly, would be an excellent selection for book clubs -- with some great discussion about applying these methods and strategies in classrooms, but also in family life, the workplace, and social media exchanges. Can we (kids and adults) learn to think more clearly about our opinions and how we form them, create more honest exchange of views and lower the incidence of heated exchanges and broken friendships? Highly recommended reading for educators and all who wonder how we've become so divided. If you want to turn down the heat and turn up the level of brave honesty, humility and understanding, read this one.