ERIC Number: ED371674
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Oct-15
Educating for Citizenship: Freeing the Mind and Elevating the Spirit.
Terenzini, Patrick T.
This speech examines the relationship between the college experience and education for citizenship in the United States. The research evidence finds changes toward greater altruism, humanitarianism and sense of civic responsibility and social conscience during the college years. Most research also shows that students' political attitudes and values become more liberal and that students have a greater interest in social and political issues and in participation in the political process. Studies also indicate that students become more egalitarian in their views on the equality of the sexes. Clear and consistent evidence indicates that students make statistically significant gains during college in the use of principled reasoning to judge moral issues. Students also appear to become more independent of parents and somewhat more mature in their interpersonal relations. Whether these changes are due to the college experience or normal maturation at this age, the weight of evidence overall suggests that a statistically significant if modest part of the changes during college can be attributed to the college experience. Institutional differences appear to have little impact on changes in students' attitudes, values, or principled moral reasoning. Certain kinds of experiences do appear to be more important: particularly place of residence and the type of interactions with faculty and peers that the living situation promotes. (Contains 11 references.) (JB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment, University Park, PA.
Note: An earlier version of this paper was presented as the Keynote Address at the Annual Meeting of the Association for General and Liberal Studies (Memphis, TN, October 15, 1993).