ERIC Number: ED059124
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1971-Nov-27
Reference Count: 0
Beliefs of American Youth About Law and Order: Indicators of Instructional Priorities.
Patrick, John J.
Democracy entails the concept of orderly liberty, a concept that implies both obedience and constructive skepticism. Since teaching youngsters to be democratic citizens is a central concern of civic education, we must be concerned about whether our youth acquire this concept of orderly liberty. Studies indicate that American youth tend to value law and order, however, they tend to be unable to indicate a profound knowledge of the functions of law. The beliefs of American youth about the functions of law vary with age. In the 10-14 year age group, they stress the negative, coercive function of law and the value of single-minded obedience to law. Older youth, the 14-18 year age group hold more complex beliefs and are more likely to think critically about particular laws and authorities. However, they still display tendencies toward intolerance of particular types of dissent. These findings raise important questions about instructional priorities. How can civic educators more effectively: 1) teach students that civil liberties are necessary to a democratic approach to law and order; 2) teach students that equality before the law is necessary to justice; 3) design instruction which helps students to acquire more profound knowledge about law and order and human rights; and 4) tak e advantage of the age when the greatest increase in political learning and ability to deal in abstractions takes place, 11-13? (Author/JLB)
Descriptors: Citizenship, Civics, Civil Liberties, Democratic Values, Dissent, Equal Protection, High School Students, Instructional Improvement, Junior High School Students, Law Enforcement, Laws, Literature Reviews, Political Attitudes, Political Socialization, Social Studies, Speeches, Student Attitudes, United States Government (Course)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Speech presented at the Annual Convention, National Council for the Social Studies, Denver, Colorado, November, 1971