Civic Education in the Twenty-First Century: A Multidimensional Inquiry

Front Cover
Michael T. Rogers, Donald M. Gooch
Lexington Books, Sep 18, 2015 - Political Science - 518 pages
Imagine an America where politicians, governmental institutions, schools, new technologies, and interest groups work together to promote informed, engaged citizens. Civic Education in the Twenty-First Century brings together scholars from various disciplines to show how such a United States is possible today. Inspired by Alexis de Tocqueville’s analysis of American democracy in the early 1800s, this edited volume represents a multidimensional evaluation of civic education in its new and varied forms. While some lament a civics crisis in America today, Civic Education in the Twenty-First Century raises hope that we can have an informed and active citizenry. We find the activities of a number of politicians, government institutions, schools and interest groups as promising developments in the struggle to educate and engage Americans in their democracy. New technologies and new innovations in civic education have laid the foundation for a revitalized American civic ecology. With Civic Education in the Twenty-First Century, we call for the United States to make these practices less isolated and more common throughout the county.

The volume is broken into three major sections. First there are four chapters exploring the history and philosophical debates about civic education, particularly with respect to its role in America’s educational institutions. Then, the second section provides seven groundbreaking inquiries into how politicians and political institutions can promote civic education and engagement through their routine operations. As some examples, this section explores how politicians through campaigns and judiciaries through community programs enhance civic knowledge and encourage civic engagement. This section also explores how new technologies like the Internet and social media are increasingly used by government institutions and other entities to encourage a more politically informed and engaged citizenry. Finally, the third section contains six chapters that explore programs and practices in higher education that are enhancing civic education, engagement and our knowledge of them. From the virtual civics campus of Fort Hayes State to citizens’ academies throughout the country, this section shows the possibilities for schools today to once again be civics actors and promoters.
 

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Contents

An Episodic History to Be Repeated?
3
The Surprisingly Positive Prospects for Effective Civic Education
43
Chapter Three The Irony of Civic Education in the United States
61
Chapter Four Models of Civic Education in America
85
Section I ITWENTYFIRSTCENTURY INNOVATIONS IN CIVIC EDUCATION
111
National Government
113
An Examination of Legislator Websites
115
Chapter Six Encouraging Civic Participation through Twitter during and after the 2012 Election
145
Chapter Eleven Interest Groups Twitter and Civic Education
273
Section III CIVIC EDUCATION IN INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION
291
Classroombased Studies
293
Chapter Twelve Dude Wheres the Civic Engagement? The Paradoxical Effect of Civic Education on the Probability of Civic Participation
295
A Multiyear Study of Civic Education in the University Core Curriculum
345
The InterCampus Consortium for SoTL Research
377
Initiatives beyond the Classroom
393
Web 20 Tools at Fort Hays State University
395

Presidential Rhetoric as Civic Education
161
State and Local Government
187
Chapter Eight An Examination of Judicial Civic Education and Community Outreach Efforts
189
The View from Website Press Releases
215
A Case Study of Arkansas
249
Private Institutions
271
Civic Engagement Local Government
417
Chapter Seventeen Partnering with Your Local PBS Station to Promote Civic and Political Engagement
433
A Path Forward to Better Theory Analysis and Practice
455
Index
489
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About the author (2015)

Michael T. Rogers is associate professor of political science at Arkansas Tech University.

Donald M. Gooch is assistant professor of political science at Stephen F. Austin State University.

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