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ERIC Number: ED509713
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 43
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
A Five-Year Evaluation of a Comprehensive High School Civic Engagement Initiative. CIRCLE Working Paper #70
McIntosh, Hugh; Berman, Sheldon; Youniss, James
Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE)
In September 2003, Hudson High School in Hudson, Massachusetts, launched two new civic development efforts--clustering and schoolwide governance--that provide an opportunity to study the influence of schoolwide democratic deliberation on students' civic knowledge and participation. The intervention involved, in part, organizing the school into clusters of 100 to 150 students that meet for one hour each week to discuss governance and other school-related issues, perform community service, and pursue other cluster-related activities. In 2003 we began collecting data to assess the progress of the clustering and schoolwide governance intervention. The findings to date suggest that the programs have been generally implemented as planned but that changes have been made to address specific issues that have arisen. Because the programs are still evolving, they cannot yet be considered mature. Nevertheless, successive classes of twelfth graders have shown improvements on measures of community service and political knowledge, and the improvements have been widespread in the student population. In addition, these positive changes were relatively larger for disenfranchised youth and other groups of students who initially scored lower than their counterpart groups on these civic measures, indicating that the programs are reaching the students they were designed to reach. Finally, examples from the current study support the idea that adult support, via scaffolding, plays an important role in building youth civic engagement. These findings demonstrate that all students--not just a select few--can and will engage in civic activity in their schools when given appropriate opportunity. A questionnaire used in this report's 21 measures of youth civic development is appended. (Contains 3 footnotes, 4 tables and 4 figures.)
Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, Lincoln Filene Hall, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155. Tel: 617-627-4781; Fax: 617-727-3401; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts