by Myiah J. Hutchens & William P. Eveland, Jr.
In CIRCLE Working Paper #65, the authors examine the effects of exposure to various elements of a civics curriculum on civic participation, two forms of political knowledge, internal political efficacy, political cynicism, news elaboration, discussion elaboration and various forms of interpersonal and mediated political communication behaviors. The data are based on a longitudinal study of high school students in a challenged large urban school district in Ohio. Two approaches to instruction are contrasted: stimulating political communication by discussing media sources and engaging in political debate; and rote learning of traditional civics content. Both approaches correlated negatively with civic outcomes, but there could be several interpretations of that correlation.
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* Download CIRCLE Working Paper #65 “The Long-Term Impact of High School Civics Curricula on Political Knowledge, Democratic Attitudes and Civic Behaviors: A Multi-Level Model of Direct and Mediated Effects Through Communication”