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"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
– Margaret Mead
What are civic skills?
In general, a skill is an ability to act or perform that has been acquired and developed or honed through experience and practice. Examples of civic skills include:
- being able to participate in collective reasoning: collaboratively identifying, giving and receiving, and weighing reasons with others (deliberating)
- being able to listen for comprehension (dialogue)
- being able to speak in public with confidence, clarity, precision, and tact.
- being able to examine problems from multiple perspectives: individual, social, cultural, economic, political, etc.
- being able to separate “fact” from hypothesis, probability, conjecture, speculation, received wisdom, anecdotal accounts, etc.
- being able to identify weaknesses in one’s own and others’ deductive, inductive, and practical arguments (errors in formal logic, inductive reasoning, and informal logic)
- being able to synthesize and reconcile conflicting views, values, priorities, etc.
- being able to see logical, causal, and associational connections between problems and between explanatory factors and consequences.
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