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ERIC Number: EJ782701
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1253
Talking Politics, Practicing Citizenship
MacKinnon, Mary Pat
Education Canada, v48 n1 p64-66 Win 2007-2008
The message emerging from a recent research series on youth civic and political participation is clear: today's youth are not disengaged from associational and small "p" political life, but they are increasingly disenchanted with formal political institutions and practices. Generation Y (those born after 1979) has less formal political knowledge than previous generations and is highly suspicious of political spin and insincerity. Despite being the most educated generation in Canadian history, many of them don't grasp how governments and political institutions work nor do they understand the impact of politics on their everyday lives. The decline in formal political participation, including voting, is complex and cannot be explained by any single theory. The evidence points to an interconnected and overlapping web of factors, including generational effects, socio-economic circumstances, changes in socialization patterns, decline in deference, devaluing of the public sphere and "politics", disenchantment with political practices and institutions, failure of political institutions to reach out to youth and attend to their needs and expectations, the pervasive influence of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on all facets of youth life, low levels of political efficacy, and declining political literacy. This article focuses on one piece, albeit pivotal, of the civic and political health puzzle: the role of the education system in preparing young people for active citizenship. Civic (or citizenship as it is also called) education remains a singularly important and effective institution to address gaps and deficits in political knowledge and skills. It plays an important role in preparing youth to undertake the public responsibilities and rights associated with democratic citizenship. (Contains 13 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada