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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

A New-Old Way To Explore Civic Engagement: Learning From The Past, Peter A. Nagler, Harry Basehart Jul 2019

A New-Old Way To Explore Civic Engagement: Learning From The Past, Peter A. Nagler, Harry Basehart

eJournal of Public Affairs

The authors propose that student-centered discussion and reflection on the attributes of good citizenship and the good citizen constitute an important way to promote civic engagement. The expectations of the Framers of the Constitution and the teachings of Western political thought both hold that active and responsible citizenship is vital to the life of the political community. In this article, the authors argue that a good citizen: (1) has a vision of what their country is and what it means; (2), is willing to sacrifice their private interests for the public good, or rather their notion of the public good ...


The Microsociety® Model: An Assessment Of Civic Engagement Outcomes Amongst Fourth And Fifth Grade Students, Jewel Hurt May 2019

The Microsociety® Model: An Assessment Of Civic Engagement Outcomes Amongst Fourth And Fifth Grade Students, Jewel Hurt

Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Despite existing as a democratic country, America has wavered in prioritizing civics education in schools. This thesis analyzes the work of MicroSociety® as one program that helps students ‘learn by doing’ in the enactment of a school-wide community simulation. To test the program outcomes, a reliable survey was administered to fourth and fifth grade students at two different MicroSociety schools. The results showed that MicroSociety students reported higher average levels of civic engagement when compared to a national sample. The positive results were also consistent across both MicroSociety samples despite stark differences in the demographic profiles of each school. This ...


They Sold Our Park! How Local Governments Fail At Democracy, Zandria Michaud May 2019

They Sold Our Park! How Local Governments Fail At Democracy, Zandria Michaud

Global Honors Theses

In 2016 the city of Kent, Washington sold a public park to a housing developer. While this sale may seem typical, what was disconcerting to Kent residents was not only that they were losing a park, but also that they knew nothing of the sale. The entire process of selling the park to a housing developer had been in the works for more than ten years, and yet, no one thought to ask the residents about it. From this sale, several issues arose regarding city level government democracy and the role of citizens in policy decision-making. By critically examining the ...


The Convergence Of Libraries, Voter Education, And Civic Literacy, Natalie Lowengruber Apr 2019

The Convergence Of Libraries, Voter Education, And Civic Literacy, Natalie Lowengruber

Honors Projects

The aim of this project was to explore how libraries, particularly academic libraries, intersect with voter education in promoting civic engagement. After reviewing research on the library’s role in democracy and civic engagement, I forged this connection through collaborating with librarians to develop an interactive workshop open to the Grand Valley community. The main goal of this workshop was to increase voter education and equip voters with tools to become better informed on candidates, legislation, and policy before the midterm elections of November, 2018. Participation in democracy is a lifelong practice and civic duty that begins with a strong ...


Distinguishing Beliefs About Social Inequality: Associations Among Dimensions Of Critical Consciousness, Lauren M. Alvis Jan 2019

Distinguishing Beliefs About Social Inequality: Associations Among Dimensions Of Critical Consciousness, Lauren M. Alvis

Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports

Critical consciousness researchers posit that critical reflection, which refers to a critical awareness of structural inequalities between socially constructed groups and external political efficacy beliefs (i.e., perceptions of government responsiveness) are important precursors to effective political action (Diemer et al., 2016; Watts, Diemer, & Voight, 2011). However, little is known about emerging adults’ views of social inequality and political change regarding specific marginalized groups. There are different forms of social inequality and the extent to which individuals experience these inequities is partially determined by multiple sociodemographic characteristics including race/ethnicity, sex, sexual-orientation, and gender identity (Hurst et al., 2016). Identifying potential heterogeneity in emerging adults’ perceptions of these different group-based inequalities may elucidate sociocognitive factors that undergird different forms of active citizenship. Thus, the current study had three primary goals: 1) test and validate the factor structure of a new multidimensional measure of critical reflection and external political efficacy beliefs and examine the extent to which these beliefs vary across different types of group-based inequalities, 2) investigate how emerging adults’ own identity characteristics (race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation) intersect with their group-specific critical reflection and external political efficacy beliefs, 3) investigate how group-specific critical reflection and external political efficacy beliefs interact to differentially predict specific forms of political action. To address these goals, 872 college students (Mage=20.05, SD=1.20; 74% female) were recruited from two Pacific Coastal universities and one Mid-Atlantic university. Participants were 57% White, 18% Asian, 14% Latinx/Hispanic, and 7% Black/African American. Using self-report questionnaires, emerging adults reported on their perceptions of social inequalities that target four marginalized groups (racial/ethnic minorities, women, LGB, transgender) and their beliefs about government responsiveness ...