Political Science Now

Excerpts from A Crucible Moment and Civic Prompts

Chapter 5: Excerpts from A Crucible Moment and Civic Prompts

Caryn McTighe MusilNorthwestern University

This watershed APSA publication is going to print as A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy’s Future (https://www.aacu.org/crucible) marks the fifth anniversary since it was released at the White House.  What appropriate timing.  There had already been an earlier portentous convergence when A Crucible Moment (2012) came out just as APSA’s publication Teaching Civic Engagement: From Student to Active Citizen (2013) was making its final manuscript edits before sending everything to the printer.  Part of what A Crucible Moment sought to capture was the dynamic, emerging movement arising in multiple quarters, practiced in many different arenas, and drawing on earlier scholarly and political movements that had strived for full democratic inclusion in learning and in everyday life.  Created after a series of five national roundtables composed of a diverse set of stakeholders inside and outside of the academy who informed its framing and recommendations, the excerpt below of that national report reveals the determined goal to use A Crucible Moment both to document the progress made while also calling for evermore comprehensive actions. The stakes for the nation and the world were too high if we dared to leave so many students untouched and untaught, their talents untapped to grapple with the problems that threatened their futures.

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About the Author

Caryn McTighe Musil is senior scholar and director of civic learning and democracy initiatives at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), where she had earlier served as senior vice president of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Global Initiatives for 14 years. Her professional career has been focused on teaching, writing, speaking, and directing national and global projects about civic engagement, diversity, global learning, and democracy. She was the author of A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy’s Future, written to reflect the national input from multiple constituencies. Musil received her BA from Duke University and her MA and PhD in English from Northwestern University.  She was honored with the 2013 Outstanding Contribution to Higher Education Award from NASPA.

Teaching Civic Engagement Across the Disciplines / Copyright ©2017 by the American Political Science Association / pp: 56-63