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American Government Across Time, Space, and Location
Unformatted Document Text:  2 AMERICAN GOVERNMENT ACROSS TIME, SPACE, AND LOCATION INTRODUCTION “Rarely is the question asked: is our children learning?” George W. Bush, United States President – January 11, 2000. Student learning has obviously always been the intent of public education, but President Bush’s education policy No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandates educators of primary and secondary school children to provide supporting evidence of what students are actually learning in their classrooms to be eligible for federal funding. At the college level, assessment of student learning has been a part of our culture – if not institutional, at least departmental – for the past decade. However, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings is more forcefully placing a similar NCLB mandate on college professors and administrators (2006). Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study is to examine what students learn in the college level introductory American Government course (American Government 101, hereafter) More specifically, I will explore the impact of 1) time – when a student takes it (Fall or Spring semester), 2) space - how the student takes it (in a classroom or online), and 3) location - where a student takes the course (large university or community college) on students’ political knowledge scores, internal political efficacy, and confidence in government. Research Questions The analysis contained herein will be guided by the following research questions: 1. To what extend are political knowledge, internal political efficacy, and government confidence affected by completion of American Government 101?

Authors: Bryant, Jane.
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AMERICAN GOVERNMENT ACROSS TIME, SPACE, AND LOCATION
INTRODUCTION
“Rarely is the question asked: is our children learning?”
George W. Bush, United States President – January 11, 2000.
Student learning has obviously always been the intent of public education, but President
Bush’s education policy No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandates educators of primary and
secondary school children to provide supporting evidence of what students are actually learning
in their classrooms to be eligible for federal funding. At the college level, assessment of student
learning has been a part of our culture – if not institutional, at least departmental – for the past
decade. However, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings is more forcefully placing a similar
NCLB mandate on college professors and administrators (2006).
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to examine what students learn in the college level introductory
American Government course (American Government 101, hereafter) More specifically, I will
explore the impact of 1) time – when a student takes it (Fall or Spring semester), 2) space - how
the student takes it (in a classroom or online), and 3) location - where a student takes the course
(large university or community college) on students’ political knowledge scores, internal
political efficacy, and confidence in government.
Research Questions
The analysis contained herein will be guided by the following research questions:
1. To what extend are political knowledge, internal political efficacy, and government
confidence affected by completion of American Government 101?


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