Dave Fortin

Chair, Department of History and Social Sciences, St. Joseph’s Preparatory School


Hannah Arendt’s The Crisis in Education

Hannah Arendt’s 1954 essay, “The Crisis in Education” is an exceptionally important essay on the purpose of education from one of the foremost thinkers of the 20th century. Unfortunately, most educators are unaware of its existence. This session will introduce Arendt’s overall thinking and discuss the essay in detail.


Dave is in his 12th year teaching high school history and civics. He is currently the department chair of the St. Joseph’s Prep History and Social Sciences Department. An Army veteran, he has taught extensively at the university level prior to joining the Prep. He received his B.A. in history from the University of Notre Dame and his M.A. in history from the Catholic University of America. Originally from Missouri, he is a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals’ fan.

Twitter: @stuckinphilly1


Teaching Civics with Hannah Arendt

While much of the conference is built around evidence-based practices, philosophy and ethics still have a place in the discussion to inform us of why we teach what we do. Hannah Arendt, one of the great thinkers of the 20th century, spent much of her life struggling with the questions of why people are willing to commit atrocities and what individuals’ responsibility is in “dark times.” Her framework of thinking, willing and judging built around knowledge provides an excellent means to enter into ethical and moral discussions with students in the civics (and other) classroom.