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Jewish Day Schools, Jewish CommunitiesA Reconsideration$
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Alex Pomson and Howard Deitcher

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113744

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113744.001.0001

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Compassionate Conservatism

Compassionate Conservatism

On Schools, Community, and Democracy

(p.71) Three Compassionate Conservatism
Jewish Day Schools, Jewish Communities

Deborah Meier

Liverpool University Press

This chapter reflects on teaching democracy. The twin capacities of open-minded intelligence and empathy in human beings make the idea of democracy fragile but not utopian; feasible for the long haul if we do not depend too much on luck but rely instead on nourishing both minds and emotions. As long as education remains a topic rarely discussed jointly by practitioners and ‘intellectuals’, much less ordinary citizens, it seems unlikely that schools will be used to pass on the democratic idea. And, as this chapter asserts, schools are not quite effective at passing on plain practical smarts, either. During a time when children are bursting with energy, intelligence, and capacity for learning, the chapter asserts that much of it is spent on boring the majority of them to death and systematically disengaging them from their native intelligence and compassion.

Keywords:   compassion, compassionate conservatism, democracy, education, children, childhood, empathy

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