ERIC Number: ED293741
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Nov-15
Reference Count: N/A
Information Technology and Representative Government: Educating an Informed and Participative Citizenry.
White, Charles S.
This document examines the relationship between the principle of representative government and information in light of dramatic changes in technology. The information age has increased the volume of information and the velocity of its transmission, while linking citizens directly to the site of decisions and facilitating direct citizen participation in political decision-making. Potential negative effects include the fact that the high costs of arranging and supporting teledemocracy systems may be so substantial that those who bear the costs will want to establish the agendas, and studies indicate that technology does not reduce apathy. New technologies have resulted in an over abundance of information, which often leads citizens to make decisions based on image rather than substance. Implications for social studies education include understanding: (1) information processing techniques; (2) information selectivity; and (3) participation attitudes and skills. Social studies educators should collaborate with software designers to develop system interfaces that enhance user search efficiency and provide education that stresses knowledge, information processing, skills, and first-hand experiences. There must be commitment to the vitality of representative government and the belief that citizens can be informed and participate responsibly. (JHP)
Descriptors: Citizen Participation, Citizenship Education, Government (Administrative Body), Information Dissemination, Information Needs, Information Processing, Information Services, Information Technology, Participative Decision Making, Public Affairs Education, Social Studies, User Needs (Information)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council for the Social Studies (Dallas, TX, November 15, 1987).