ERIC Number: ED043368
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968-Sep
Reference Count: 0
A Pilot Experiment in Early Childhood Political Learning. Report from the Project on Concepts in Political Science.
Dennis, Jack; And Others
To determine the effect of early political instruction, a series of basic political concepts were introduced to primary grade children. Using one class of second and one class of fourth graders as control groups and one class of second and another class of fourth graders as experimental groups, a unit of civic instruction was taught during the 2-week period before a national election. The experimental groups received formal instruction in political concepts over a 3-week period and engaged in concept-related role playing activities. All children were given structured interviews before and after the period of instruction; these results were coded. Pre- and post-tests were the Science Research Associates achievement and primary abilities tests. Interview results showed that all groups increased in the average level of political concept-attainment during the election period, but the experimental groups increased more rapidly even when initial levels of political concept attainment and general school achievement were held constant. It is suggested that the young child is capable of understanding more about the political realm than is generally assumed and that school political instruction could profitably begin earlier than it normally does. Appendixes describe concepts, interviews, and changes in political conceptualization. (Author/DR)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. Cooperative Research Program.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Research and Development Center for Cognitive Learning.
Identifiers: SRA Primary Mental Abilities Test