ERIC Number: ED284231
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Teaching Free Speech Values to High School Students: Keys to Persevering Despite the Obstacles.
To examine why citizens today do not understand the U.S. Constitution and its provisions, a survey was conducted among 153 high school social studies, journalism, and English teachers to examine, among other things, how they taught about constitutional rights and how they rated their students' knowledge of the subject compared to students' knowledge 5 to 10 years ago, and how they felt their beliefs about constitutional rights compared with those of national professional organizations, students, administrators, and parents. Results showed that most teachers used a textbook to teach about constitutional rights, most were dissatisfied with it, but many were willing to use supplemental materials for the unit. Most teachers indicated that their students today rated higher in their support for traditional American institutions but lower in their understanding of them. Students' critical thinking skills were rated lower than those of students 5 to 10 years ago by 47.9% of the teachers surveyed. Most teachers, particularly journalism teachers, felt their beliefs about constitutional rights differed from those of students, administrators, and parents, but came closer to agreeing with the beliefs of national professional organizations. To ensure understanding and tolerant citizens, treatment of the First Amendment in textbooks must be improved, supplemental materials concerning constitutional rights must be made available to teachers, and more time must be spent on the subject in the classroom. (JC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (70th, San Antonio, TX, August 1-4, 1987).