Public Sphere Work
"I appeal to teachers . . . to remember that they above all others are the consecrated servants of the democratic ideas in which alone this country is truly a distinctive nation—ideas of friendly and helpful intercourse between all and the equipment of every individual to serve the community by his own best powers in his own best way." -John Dewey
The First-Year Experience Program collaborates with others in the development of civic engagement education. We work to contribute to students’ development and address the needs of our campus and community by taking John Dewey’s vision of public education to heart. This is accomplished through the use of Public Sphere Pedagogy and public events in first-year courses.
Public Sphere Pedagogy
Public Sphere Pedagogy (PSP) embeds a "public sphere" in first-year courses, moving students from a typical classroom setting to a dialogue-rich environment. It focuses students' course reading, class discussion, and research efforts on contemporary public issues and places students in dialogue with diverse campus and community members. These public events provide students with opportunities to behave as adult participants in processes of dialogue and debate vital to the health of a democracy. PSP aims to increase students' sense of civic efficacy and personal responsibility. PSP students are more likely to persist to graduation than non-PSP students.
The CSU, Chico Town Hall Meeting
Embedded in the required Political Science course on American Government, the Town Hall provides students with public arenas for discussing policy issues, improves students' confidence as scholars and boosts retention. More...
The Chico Great Debate
Embedded in required first-year Communication Studies classes, the Chico Great Debate gives students a focal point for their research on a contentious public issue, teaches them methods of civil public discourse, and creates strong voter identities. More...
The Economic Challenges Series
Embedded in an entry-level Economics class, the Series is a two-night event featuring student presentations on current budget problems, followed by table discussions among small groups about possible solutions. Students emerge with a critical capacity for judging often simplistic public rhetoric about complex problems.
Rough Cut Film Festival
The Rough Cut Film Festival features a set of short documentaries made by student teams from English 130. The students spend the semester researching and writing about digital identities; their films are built on knowledge they gain and persistent questions they have during the reading and writing process.
For more information about FYE's public sphere work or our various events, contact FYE.