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ERIC Number: EJ810889
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 50
ISSN: ISSN-1551-2169
Cultivating Civic Competence: Simulations and Skill-Building in an Introductory Government Class
Bernstein, Jeffrey L.
Journal of Political Science Education, v4 n1 p1-20 Jan 2008
I examine the impact of simulations on student learning and on the growth of civic competence in an introductory American government class. By civic competence, I refer to an individual's skill and ability to make sense of vast amounts of political information; to work with others (and in civil opposition to other people's ideas) where appropriate; and to develop effective strategies for political action. The simulations I describe here are successful in building political skills for students, albeit with some limitations seen across sex and racial lines. Students emerge from the class more confident in how well they can handle the tasks that effective civic participation requires. What is more, I show that their feelings of confidence are driven largely by the skills they have attained and not by the objective political knowledge they have gained. These results provide strong evidence that we ought to reconsider how we teach students in the introductory American government class. (Contains 5 tables and 11 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan