NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
ERIC Number: ED509714
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 44
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
Predicting Civic Engagement in Urban High School Students. CIRCLE Working Paper #69
McIntosh, Hugh; Munoz, Marco A.
Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE)
The landmark Civic Mission of Schools report of 2003 laid out an argument for the role of schools in promoting youth civic engagement and presented a range of promising ideas and practices to accomplish that. In this study we describe the civic engagement outcomes that Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) in Louisville, KY, has chosen to promote in its students. The outcomes constitute a vision of civic engagement that sees youth as well-rounded citizens capable of engaging in civil, political, and problem-solving activities, both individually and socially. In 2007, JCPS revised its annual survey of students to include the above-mentioned civic outcomes and other new measures as part of a whole-child approach to monitoring educational development. Data collected from high school students by this survey in 2008 and 2009 were used to identify and characterize a number of factors which, theory and empirical research suggest, may be important predictors of youth civic engagement. The results show that most of the factors in our models of civic engagement were positively related to youth civic engagement. Using these findings and theoretical considerations, we sorted factors into three levels of importance. Overall, the most important predictors of youth civic engagement in our models were "community service", "political discussion", and "environmental conservation". At an intermediate level of importance were "nonsport extracurricular activities", "conflict resolution skill", and "positive character", as well as "personal efficacy", "willingness to contact public officials about issues of concern", and "intention to vote". Seven other factors were also found to have positive, but somewhat weaker or less-widespread associations with youth civic engagement. Using a large sample in an urban school district, this study reinforces claims that community service, discussion of politics, and nonsport extracurricular activities boost civic engagement. These are three of the "promising practices" recommended for schools in the Civic Mission of Schools report, and this study reinforces the importance of providing them. The findings also provide intriguing evidence of the potential value of environmental conservation, conflict resolution skill, and character education as pathways to civic engagement. (Contains 11 tables.)
Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, Lincoln Filene Hall, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155. Tel: 617-627-4781; Fax: 617-727-3401; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky