ERIC Number: EJ1003789
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Reference Count: 0
Should Schools Teach Students to Vote? YES!
Hess, Diana E.
Social Education, v76 n6 p283-289 Nov-Dec 2012
There are many approaches that schools could take to prepare and encourage young people to vote. These approaches may be less dramatic than linking registration to graduation, but they are more comprehensive and likely even more effective in the long term. In this article, the author encourages educators, particularly the social studies community, to take up the problem of low and unequal rates of voter participation of young adults in a serious way. They must focus on what can and should be done in the future to more explicitly leverage schools as important sites for increasing voter participation rates of young Americans. Schools should see this as a core part of their mission, and those involved with educating young people for political participation should be concerned with teaching them not just about political issues, voting, and elections, but also about "how to register" to vote and "how to actually go about" voting. This kind of school-based voter education is the most just and efficient way to reach the vast majority of young people in that it requires the content and pedagogical expertise that social studies teachers possess, and it supports the historic mission of schools to prepare young people for political life. This is a mission that is more under attack now than it has been in decades, but educators must refuse to yield, even in these times of increasing political polarization. (Contains 12 notes.)
Descriptors: Social Studies, Voting, Political Issues, Young Adults, Elections, Participation, Citizen Participation, Educational History, Federal Government, Academic Achievement, Failure
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street #500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800; Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.socialstudies.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A