ERIC Number: ED485481
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Aug
Politics: The Missing Link of Responsible Civic Education. CIRCLE Working Paper 18. Report Executive Summary.
Stroupe, Kenneth S., Jr.; Sabato, Larry J.
Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement
Several nonprofit organizations provide instructional materials and guidance to support experiential civic education in schools. General evidence from national surveys suggests that the use of these products and methods improves students? political and civic knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors. This paper reports the result of a particular experiment conducted to study the effects of an ongoing national youth civic engagement program sponsored by the UVA Center for Politics called the National Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI). The experiment described here is unusual in two main respects. First, the YLI curriculum emphasizes experiential learning about politics and elections, on the theory that politics ought to be explicitly taught if the goal is to get young people to vote, follow the political news, and try to influence the government. Second, the YLI program was tested in an unusually rigorous way; students who participated in YLI were compared to students who received more traditional civics instruction. According to other studies, students who take civics courses are more likely than other young people to be knowledgeable and engaged in politics. However, it is possible that this is not an effect of the courses; rather, students who are already interested in politics elect to take classes on civics. Also, studies have shown that different teaching techniques and curriculum content have different types of benefits for students. The YLI research used quasi-experimental design to demonstrate that these particular civic classes?using experiential methods and emphasizing electoral politics?had statistically significant, positive effects.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A