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International conference to address issues in civic education

An international conference hosted by New Mexico State University and Beijing Normal University will bring together school and university educators from across the globe to address issues in citizenship education.

The 2010 Civic Education Conference, "Educating Youth for Citizenship: East and West," will be held Jan. 4-6 in Beijing, China, to address the question of how schools can educate youth to become productive citizens. About 150-200 people are expected to attend the event.

"There is a great interest in civics education in both the United States and China. The countries have different concepts of civic engagement, but both believe we are not doing as well as we can in educating active citizens," said Charles Townley, conference co-chair and professor of educational management and development at NMSU.

Civics issues common between the two countries will be examined during the three-day conference. Chinese educators will address civics in the United States, and the U.S. educators will address Chinese civics matters.

"It will be interesting to see how other people perceive our countries. There is a lot we can learn from each other," Townley said.

The four conference themes focus on civic education in relation to parenting, schooling, institutions and society. Keynote speakers for the event include James Conroy, University of Glasgow dean of education; Candace Kaye, New Mexico State University professor; and Michael Schafer of the Center for Civic Education.

BNU is China's leading education university. Townley completed two Fulbright grants at the university and Kaye also taught there, helping to create the relationship that led to the conference.

The conference is hosted by the BNU School of Education and the NMSU College of Education. The NMSU Confucius Institute, the United States-China J. William Fulbright program and the public affairs section of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing are co-sponsoring the event.

For more information about the conference, visit http://citizen-09.nmsu.edu.