Educational Theory 62 (1):41-58 (2012)

Sarah Stitzlein
University of Cincinnati
In this article Sarah Stitzlein highlights an educational right that has been largely unacknowledged in the past but has recently gained significance given renewed citizen participation in displays of public outcry on our streets and in our town halls. Dissent is typically conceived of as a negative right—a liberty that guarantees that the government will not interfere with one's public self-expression. Stitzlein argues that, insofar as the legitimacy of the state depends on obtaining the consent of the governed, the state must allow the lively proliferation of dissent. Attending to this negative rights perspective, Stitzlein explores the educational implications of reframing the right to dissent as a positive right. This includes discussing the state's obligation to cultivate the skills of dissent in its young citizens and, correspondingly, student entitlement to this training. These educational implications, especially for civics education, are far more substantial than the thinner implications of the negative right to dissent
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DOI 10.1111/j.1741-5446.2011.00434.x
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