ERIC Number: ED394431
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Teaching Democracy as a "Practical" Science: Reorganizing the Curriculum at Institutions of Higher Education for Active Citizenship.
Dixon, Douglas A.
This paper identifies project-based curriculum elements to increase postsecondary students' sense of political efficacy and their political interest, knowledge, and participation. It evaluates factors correlated with low levels of voting and the implementation of registration activities as remedies; it then introduces curriculum elements based on research to increase the quality and quantity of political participation among the State of Georgia's postsecondary students, including interest group organization and electoral strategies as well as problem identification and analysis. Data and analysis of recent Georgia elections are presented which demonstrate the potential influence that young voters may wield if they unify around common objectives and coordinate their registration and voting activities to influence specific primary and general elections. It is suggested that current voter registration efforts are inadequate and may be improved among students by in-class activities in political science classes. Students also need to learn how to analyze and evaluate public problems, proposed remedies, and their potential consequences and underlying values. Teaching political education using federalism as a central organizing concept is also recommended, and postsecondary institutions are recommended as especially fruitful sources for instilling political responsibility in young voters. Inclusion of a project-based curricular strategy in postsecondary political science classes may result in more effective and higher quality political participation among these young citizens. A theoretical, basic outline for such a project is suggested. (Contains 45 references.) (Author/NAV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April 8-13, 1996).