Angela Banks is an author and a distinguished Professor of Law at ASU’s O’Connor “college” of Law. Banks recently released a new book, titled “Civic Education in the Age of Mass Migration,” and it looks at making civics more inclusive so that more children can learn and participate. Horizonte’s Jose Cardenas spoke with Angela Banks about her new book.
“This book is really thinking about the way that civic education citizen education is taught in K-12 schools, and thinking about how is the idea of national membership conceptualized in civic education and it really is through the lens of citizenship,” Banks said.
She continued that as we are in an era of mass migration, the book really, “calls into question rather or not citizenship is the proper lens for thinking about engagement and participation in our political democracy.”
After doing more research, and as an immigration scholar, Banks realized the boundaries surrounding the term “citizenship” and how when teaching civic education, those boundaries aren’t taught.
Citizenship tends to have an all-inclusive meaning when in reality there are some restrictions.
“There are boundaries and it is not available to everybody,” Banks said.
Banks added, a lot of civic education is about is educating the population about government, how it functions, how to be a good member and participant in a democratic society.
She shared that, “what my work is doing is highlighting the fact that if we really do want to talk about how to be a good participant in a democratic society, we have to think about all of the people who are physically present and think about the various ways in which they’re participating and how they can be included in our society and using the concept of citizenship can be limited.”