ERIC Number: ED162959
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Nov-24
Reference Count: 0
What Does Political Education Research Tell Us about How to Teach Citizenship?
Ehman, Lee H.
This paper presents six generalizations based on political education research and discusses their implications for teaching citizenship in the public schools. In drawing the implications, it was assumed that citizenship education is designed to promote higher political knowledge, interest, trust, tolerance of dissent, and intellectual and participation skills. The six generalizations are that: (1) compared to factors such as family and the media, school is an important agent for transmitting political information to youth, (2) secondary students' political knowledge has decreased between 1970 and 1976, (3) an open classroom climate in which opinions about controversial issues are freely discussed is conducive to positive political attitudes, (4) emphasis on factual content and patriotic rituals is associated with negative political attitudes, (5) student participation in school governance is related to positive political attitudes, and (6) American students have a lower tolerance of political dissent than do European students. Among the implications of these generalizations are that teachers should use up-to-date instructional materials, pay attention to attitude and behavior outcomes, specify course goals, allow students to express divergent viewpoints, de-emphasize rote factual knowledge, and encourage participation in school governance and extracurricular activities. In addition, teachers should point out that good citizenship does not necessarily imply passive conformity. (Author/AV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the National Council for the Social Studies (Houston, Texas, November 24, 1978)