Thea Abu El-Haj headshot


On April 16, 2021, Thea Abu El-Haj, professor of education and Education Program Director/Chair, published a chapter, titled “Civic Reasoning and Discourse Amid Structural Inequality, Migration, and Conflict” (pp. 245-272) alongside Beth C. Rubin and Michelle J. Bellino in the National Academy of Education’s most recent report, Educating for Civic Reasoning & Discourse. This chapter investigates how young people tend to engage with civil discourse surrounding racial justice, and how varying life experiences with inequality and marginalization can influence their engagement with civil discourse in a classroom environment.

Examining factors like migration, violence, and access to resources and human rights, Professor Abu El-Haj and her co-authors interrogate how these factors may shape students’ civic development, and manifest in their classroom participation. With this research, the authors provide advice for educators on how to consider this context when introducing civic reasoning and discourse so that students from both privileged and marginalized backgrounds are supported with the knowledge and skills they need to be active participants in civil discourse within their communities