ERIC Number: ED454135
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Apr-13
Teaching the 2000 Election: A K-12 Survey.
Haas, Mary E.; Laughlin, Margaret A.
The complaint by some youth that major issues of the 2000 presidential campaign were not focused on their concerns, but instead on those of much older citizens, may suggest one reason for the lack of voter participation by youth ages 18-25. Reports of researchers in civic and social studies education over the past 30 years suggest that discussing controversial public policy issues increases the likelihood of greater political interest and efficacy of students. The 2000 presidential election with its inability to declare a winner quickly, accompanied with multiple accusations concerning confusion in election processes and biased media coverage, provided a unique opportunity for teachers to focus on the difficult analysis and interpretation of issues that many teachers advocate and teach as the central focus of the social studies curriculum. This paper addresses three questions: How did teachers plan to teach the 2000 election? How did teachers plan to teach the results of the election? and How did teachers actually teach the election in light of the controversies that resulted? The paper reports results of a survey mailed before November 2000 to a random sample of 600 National Council for the Social Studies members asking how they planned to teach the election. It reports that teachers were committed to addressing the presidential election in their classrooms. It appears that many respondents did not differentiate issues and topics from the political processes or procedures. The paper offers 12 recommendations for instructional improvement regarding elections and the political process. Contains 4 tables and 24 references. (BT)
Descriptors: Citizen Participation, Controversial Issues (Course Content), Course Content, Current Events, Educational Research, Elections, Elementary Secondary Education, Instructional Improvement, Mail Surveys, National Surveys, Political Issues, Presidential Campaigns (United States), Social Studies, Teacher Surveys, Voting
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A