Civility and Shared Fate: Social Studies Teaching as Teaching for Belonging


curriculum studies
Citizenship education
Social studies education

How to Cite

Ritter, M. (2020). Civility and Shared Fate: Social Studies Teaching as Teaching for Belonging. Journal Of Curriculum Studies Research, 2(1), 1-15.


In response to the violence of our era and the vast movement of people around the globe, the author argues that effective social studies education should include an understanding ourselves within communities of shared fate collectively building strategies of civility. Through conceptual analysis, the paper supports arguments that citizenship education should be grounded in communities of fate, rather than a sense of shared identity as a member of a particular country. Shared fate is the idea that our lives are intertwined with others in ways we perceive and ways we cannot. Civility is elaborated as concrete strategies that support or make possible broad participation in the demos. Looking at citizenship through the lens of communities of shared fate changes how we think about belonging and our responsibilities to one another in our shared world. The author provides examples of early career educators’ moral commitment to teaching from a perspective of shared fate and as well as their concerns to link the conceptual work to concrete practices within elementary school classrooms.