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ERIC Number: EJ1077474
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Aug
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1478-8047
Teaching Urban Youth about Controversial Issues: Pathways to Becoming Active and Informed Citizens
Lin, Alex Romeo; Lawrence, Joshua Fahey; Snow, Catherine Elizabeth
Citizenship, Social and Economics Education, v14 n2 p103-119 Aug 2015
Although American schools are required to meet civic education goals of preparing students to become active and informed citizens, high-quality civic opportunities (e.g. service learning and volunteering) are consistently less available to youth of color who are typically enrolled in schools located in high-poverty communities. The purpose of this study is to evaluate efficacy of the Word Generation program to improve students' self-reported civic engagement (N?=?5798) in the context of a randomized trial that was conducted in several middle schools located in a West Coast metropolitan area of the United States. Word Generation is a cross-content literacy program that instructs students to learn academic words, which are embedded in brief passages covering a different controversial issue each week. Participants completed survey items on how often they helped their friends, community, and school, as well as voting interest. Results provide support for the primary research question--participation in the Word Generation program has a significant impact on students' self-reported civic engagement, but not for voting interest. These results suggest that students' opportunities to debate on social issues are crucial to envisioning oneself as an active participant in civic affairs.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Gates MacGinitie Reading Tests
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305A090555