CFS 4052 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Family Life Education, Unforgotten, Moodle
DepartmentChild and Family Studies
Course CodeCFS 4052
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Discussion Set Assignment #1 for Tuesday, September 3,2019
I read or reviewed every assigned reading in this week’s Moodle block_______________ (your
Why does a student in CFS need to study family law and family policy? What about the
CFS curriculum prepares a graduate to engage in family policy in a meaningful
manner? You are training to be experts: in child development, family science, family life
education, even public policy. How will you make your voice as an expert heard above the
fray? Why should your expertise be valued more than Google or Wikipedia? How will you
be fearless in asserting what you know, humble in learning from others, and careful to stay
within your expertise?
The title of our major is Child and Family Studies, meaning our focus is on studying
families. Family law and policy is one of those resources we can use to help us understand and
study families closer. We will also be interacting and working hands on with families within our
respective practices. This means that the things in this class that we learn could be applied and
useful information to better to prepare us for what is to come upon graduating. The CFS
curriculum prepares by giving us as much hands-on experience as possible so we can apply the
things we discuss in lecture in a real-life setting. It also helps by grooming us into being more
objective, professional, and to set personal bias aside.
I think the first step I would take to make my voice be heard in my profession would be
to have the credentials to prove my expertise. Whether it’s a master’s degree or doctorate, a
person needs the credentials in order to stand out among the masses. Another effective way is to
publish research finding in a scientific journals or peer review journals. These are highly credited
compared to a blog post and go through a rigorous process before even getting published. I
believe my expertise should be valued more than Google or Wikipedia because these sites are
known for giving bad and biased information. Furthermore, these sites allow anyone to edit and
update information, meaning that someone with little to no knowledge can write something for
everyone to see. I will be fearless in asserting what I know by supporting facts only and will
demand others to do the same. However, being open to criticism and new perspectives is an
unforgotten key to be an expert. Facts are not debatable but respecting different beliefs, ideas,
and thoughts can allow an expert to expand in their field. But just because someone is an expert
in one field, does not mean they can talk like an expert in everything. As a CFS major, I am
qualified to talk about a subject such as Physics because I have little to no information on it.
What is “the American experiment?” What are the key features of this political
experiment? (“Democracy’s Challenge”) Describe what is meant by “Americans’
withdrawal from public life.” Describe and discuss the three approaches to explaining
Americans’ withdrawal from public life and the concomitant solutions within these
perspectives for reactivating Americans’ engagement in public life; be sure to present both
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sides of the case for each solution. (“Democracy’s Challenge”; i.e., rebuilding America’s
moral foundation; web of connections/reinventing citizenship; bringing the public back
What is at risk is crucial, the central premise in what the nation’s founders called “the American
experiment.” In Federalist Paper 39, James Madison referred candidly to the new form of
government embodied in the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of
Rights as “a political experiment” which depended, he said, “on the capacity of mankind for self-
government.” In recent years, the hope embodied in the revolutionary phrase “We the people”
and the dream of a nation “of, by, and for the people” seem deeply at odds with the kind of
nation we have become. public square is far less vibrant than it should be, if the quality of
participation is disappointing, if the tone of national politics is nasty, and if the distribution of
political activity and influence favors the socially
and economically advantaged, the responsibility in substantial measure is our own,” writes
Stephen Macedo in Democracy at Risk. “We cannot solve the problems as individuals. Instead,
we must act collectively to improve our institutions and thereby foster a richer civic life for all
citizens.” The withdrawal from politics by citizens has aggravated the problem of finding broadly
acceptable legislative solutions to public problems. Since highly partisan voters holding extreme
views are more likely to vote, the voice of the moderate middle has grown more muted and is
more often overlooked in the legislative process.
Democratic Values: Rebuilding democracy’s moral foundation 6 As a nation, we have become
self-indulgent and self-absorbed, inclined to accept neither
hard choices nor sacrifice. The emphasis on individual rights and personal freedom has
undermined democracy. In recent decades the moral curriculum has been neglected; this is a
key element in our public troubles.
Agenda for a moral foundation
Schools should integrate character education into the curriculum.
To encourage people to take marriage seriously, divorce laws should be tightened, premarital
counseling should be readily available, and counseling for individuals in troubled marriages
should be required.
Recognizing that marriage is a vital institution, public policy should reward marriage and
discourage childbirth outside of marriage.
Television networks should agree to a code of content that reinforces social responsibility rather
than undermining it.
To underline the importance of public responsibility, all young people should be required to
serve a minimum of one year of public service, either in the military or a national service corps.
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