What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Political Engagement? Clarifying Our Concepts and Proposing a Research Agenca
11 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2013
Political science and political scientists have grown a lot more interested in political engagement. However, it is not clear whether we are all interested in the same thing - political engagement, civic engagement, and even service-learning are often used interchangeably.A second problem is that service-learning and other experiential methods are often seen as the only way to increase political engagement in our students; however, there is no solid evidence that more traditional civics education is not effective. In this paper I: 1. Propose distinctive definitions that clarify the differences among political engagement, civic engagement, active learning, and service-learning. 2. Construct an inventory of techniques for building civic engagement, ranging from intensive experiential programs to traditional lectures on appropriate subject matter. 3. Summarize where we stand now in research on these various techniques, and propose future research directions to broaden and deepen our understanding.
Keywords: politics,political engagement,service-learning,teaching
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