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ERIC Number: EJ914477
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-1551-2169
Fact Checks, Voter Guides, and GOTV: Civic Learning Projects in American Politics Courses
Bardwell, Kedron
Journal of Political Science Education, v7 n1 p1-13 2011
To make a difference in their communities, students need to develop the "knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to make that difference" (Ehrlich 2000, p. vi). Taking advantage of Iowa's role in the 2008 presidential nominations, I designed three "civic learning" projects: a collaborative fact-checking weblog, a nonpartisan voter guide on policy issues, and a student-led voter registration drive. I then tracked the classes' scores on pre- and postcourse measures of civic skills and attitudes, comparing the results to courses without civic projects. I found that the projects greatly improved students' skills and attitudes related to civic engagement. Students who did the fact-checking research made gains in their analysis and presentation skills. Students who compiled the voter guides improved their analysis skills, civic participation skills, and also became more aware of their biases. Students who participated in voter registration became more confident leaders and more positive about the value of volunteering. This experiment shows that integrating civic learning projects into courses can help students develop skills and attitudes that foster political engagement. (Contains 4 tables and 5 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iowa