What is Civic Literacy?

Civic literacy demands a basic level of mastery of ethics, history, economics, political science, demography, statistics, and rhetoric. It also demands some understanding of climate science.

The laws of economics and statistics are not a matter of opinion and they are at times quite counter-intuitive. All opinions on right and wrong are not created equal. Neither are all lessons of history.

The simplest test of civic literacy is the ability to make a strong case for both sides in the current debates over foreign policy, fiscal and monetary policy, social justice, and climate change. A strong case requires marshaling arguments at three levels: that of principles, that of facts, and that of solutions.

To do well on this test the Critical Thinking Toolkit could be of great help.

A thematic journal specific to each issue of importance to you is highly recommended.

The periodic completion of a thematic matrix on each issue will sharpen your thinking as it forces prioritization and organization of thought.

A calendar of conversations to devoted to each issue will subject your analysis to the review of peers whose work you will be able to assess and benefit from.

Real civic literacy is a life long process not an endpoint. The complexity is boundless. Mastery is elusive.

For more instruction on this score see www.thinkingcitizen.com.