ERIC Number: ED314291
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Oct-11
The Effects of the School, Media, and Family on the Civic Values and Behaviors of Youth.
Hahn, Carole L.
Controversial issues and their effect on students is the focus of this paper, which includes results of research on the influences of media and family. Discussions of controversial issues in an open classroom environment affects student attitudes by promoting: (1) less cynicism about government and politicians; (2) a belief that citizens have influence on the political system; and (3) a higher sense of civic responsibility. Research shows that behavior is affected, and that students are more likely to participate in politics and discuss and express opinions about political issues with family and friends. In other countries besides the United States, this behavior has also been documented. The effect of the media on civic knowledge, values, and behavior is documented through research. Elementary and secondary students believe they acquire information about political issues, government, and current affairs from television; additionally, high school students report television as a second information source after newspapers and magazines. When surveyed the children are usually the most politically knowledgeable. Research shows that parents can be most effective in promoting civic competence by discussing with their children the issues raised in the media. Research from cooperative learning theorists concludes that when students can examine and discuss controversies in a cooperative environment, they achieve higher levels of cognitive reasoning, higher quality problem solving, greater creativity, and more accurate perspectives. The appendices contain Ehman's theoretical model and the Connecticut State Board of Education's policy statement on controversial issues. A 32-item bibliography is included. (DJC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the International Conference on the Development of Civic Responsibility Among Youth (Urbino, Italy, October 8-15, 1988).