NACOGDOCHES,Texas - Stephen F. Austin State University's Department of Government will hold a panel and roundtable discussion at 7 p.m. May 2 in Dugas Liberal Arts North Room 102. The panel is titled "Civic Education in the 21st Century: Implications for Democracy, Representation and Liberty."

The panel will feature Dr. Chapman Rackaway, professor of political science and interim dean of the Graduate School at Fort Hays University, and Dr. Matthew Newton, assistant professor of government at Lone Star College-Kingwood. Dr. Donald Gooch, assistant professor in SFA's department of government, and Dr. Steve Galatas, associate professor of government, will also join the roundtable discussion.

"The panel will discuss civic education in America," Gooch said. "We'll be touching on the general state of civic knowledge, civic efficacy and civic participation in America, explanations why these essential characteristics of citizens in a democratic republic are so lacking in America today and possible advancements and solutions for the future."

Both Gooch and Rackaway recently published books on civic education in America. Rackaway's 2017 book Civic Failure and its Threat to Democracy: Operator Error discusses the problematic nature of the relationship between American citizens and their government.

Civic Education in the 21st Century: A Multidimensional Inquiry, a collection edited by Gooch and Michael T. Rogers that features essays from Rackaway, Galatas and others, introduces problems inherent in civic education in America and possible ways to help improve civic education and engagement.

"We hope the panel provides a number of opposing viewpoints about civic education and citizenship," Gooch said. "Including how we, as educators, can help promote an environment of civic engagement and provide our students with the skills to actively participate in a representative democracy."

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, email Gooch at