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ERIC Number: ED307186
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Oct-6
Pages: 53
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Political Socialization.
Torney-Purta, Judith
Past research on political socialization has failed to provide clear implications for educational policy or practice. However, reconceptualizing that research using a framework derived from cognitive psychology can reveal relationships between political socialization and education not previously seen. In this reconceptualization, schema or conceptual networks are the primary vehicles for remembering and retrieving information and using that information to solve problems. Such an analysis of previous research reveals four points. One, the typical school curriculum presents information in a way which does not allow the student to relate it to existing schemata and, when appropriate, to restructure them. Two, there are some general cognitive characteristics which need to be taken into account in curricular formulations. These include adolescent difficulties in decentering, perceiving reciprocity, and coordinating different parts of their personal schemata. Three, an active student involvement with controversial issues combined requires them to defend various positions stimulates students' restructuring of schemata and positively contributes to civic education. Four, the conceptualization of social or political schema, when linked with recent work on reading, suggests the possibility of dealing explicitly with students' concept maps as part of instructional methods. Asking students to construct and discuss concept maps or diagrams of political actors and actions may be a useful tool for increasing the complexity of their schemata. If current research on political socialization in young people focused on schemata and conceptual networks, it would be more useful in improving citizenship education than it has been. (PPB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Conference on Citizenship for the 21st Century (Washington, DC, October 5-7, 1988).