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ERIC Number: EJ856563
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: ISSN-1551-2169
Democracy and Higher Education: The Nature of the Relationship
Holland, Lauren
Journal of Political Science Education, v5 n2 p91-107 2009
This study examines the pedagogical conditions that contribute to political learning in American National Government courses, using data from classes taught at universities and colleges in Utah. The purpose of this research is to assess the relative effect of course content, classroom climate, textbook, institutional ranking and class size on political knowledge, efficacy, trust, and interest. A sample of 31 courses was selected for analysis. The methodology consists of classroom visits, content analyses of syllabi, textbooks, examinations and other teaching materials, administration and analysis of a 25 + item pretest/posttest, an examination of a sample of student course evaluations, and aggregate data analysis. Findings support the significance of course content on political knowledge. The weak influence of classroom climate challenges the study's hypothesis regarding the benefits of an "open" class environment. The insignificance of textbooks is explained in part by the fact that instructors use books that vary only slightly in content and theoretical approach to American national government. The study concludes with recommendations for promoting political learning among college and university students and situates the study's findings within the broader debate over the relationship between civic education and democracy. (Contains 6 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Utah