Jonathan Zimmerman, who teaches education and history at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote the essay “Millennials are disillusioned with democracy and it’s up to educators to save future generations” for the Philadelphia Inquirer on Dec. 9. An excerpt follows. Zimmerman is the author of “Amateur Hour: A History of College Teaching in America,” which will be published next year by Johns Hopkins University Press.
News flash: Two-thirds of millennials disapprove of President Trump. But you probably knew that already.
Here’s what you might not know: they’re also less likely to believe in democracy. At every turn, Trump has demonstrated his disdain for democratic norms and traditions. It turns out that growing numbers of young people agree with him, even when they reject Trump.
That’s an educational problem, not a political one. Over the past several decades, our schools and universities haven’t made a strong enough case for our system. It’s no wonder that young people often echo our Cynic-in-Chief, questioning the legitimacy of democracy itself. …
How do you persuade people who have soured on democracy to give it another go? Their teachers have to remind them that it has accomplished wonders, and that it can do so again.
Read more here.