ERIC Number: EJ1052529
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 77
Learning to Think Politically: Toward More Complete Disciplinary Knowledge in Civics and Government Courses
Journell, Wayne; Beeson, Melissa Walker; Ayers, Cheryl A.
Theory and Research in Social Education, v43 n1 p28-67 2015
Secondary civics and government courses are often framed as a content area in which students learn about processes of government and ways of participating in a democratic society, as opposed to a discipline in which students use specific tools and ways of thinking that mimic those used by professionals within that discipline. In this article, we call for an increased emphasis on disciplinary knowledge in civics and government courses, specifically knowledge that utilizes the tools and methodologies of political scientists. Through a study of an exemplary civics teacher during the 2012 Presidential Election, we illustrate the benefits of a disciplinary approach to civics instruction. Our findings suggest that such an approach allows students to better understand tools of social inquiry and provides them with the skills to think critically about politics and political behavior.
Descriptors: Civics, United States Government (Course), Political Science, Knowledge Level, Secondary School Teachers, Critical Thinking, Thinking Skills, Elections, Political Campaigns, Citizenship Education, High School Students, Case Studies, Observation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Secondary Education; High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A