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For the Students, By the Students: Redirecting Civic Education through the American Trustees Project

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Abstract:

Traditional efforts to engage young people in democratic life have largely been relegated to Government and Political Science courses and have primarily focused on teaching large amount of historical and political information. Infocentric approaches, ironically, have done little to motivate young people to care about their systems and tend to deny three realities of college students, including how many of them: do not like politics, are not easily inspired by sanitized civic discourses, and have a difficult time learning empowered citizenship in the “hidden (hierarchical) curriculum” of the schools. This paper reports on a program that uses narrative theory, role models, a group assignment and documentary filmmaking to re-engage university level Communication students in civic life. Specifically, we detail how the American Trustees project makes civics instruction more concrete and meaningful, how it gives students opportunities to exercise agency and engage in self-reflection, and how it provides cues to a new, more youthful “language of citizenship” (as these films are created by and for young people). An evaluation of the course provides encouraging findings as well as questions for future research.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

student (72), polit (62), civic (60), citizenship (60), citizen (45), engag (37), learn (37), project (36), peopl (34), educ (34), young (33), american (32), truste (32), particip (31), good (28), inform (28), communiti (26), film (25), school (24), time (24), semest (24),

Author's Keywords:

Civid Education, Role Models, Narrative, Film, American Trustees
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Association:
Name: APSA Teaching and Learning Conference
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http://www.apsanet.org


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MLA Citation:

Jarvis, Sharon. and Han, Soo-Hye. "For the Students, By the Students: Redirecting Civic Education through the American Trustees Project" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, San Jose Marriott, San Jose, California, Feb 22, 2008 <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p245668_index.html>

APA Citation:

Jarvis, S. E. and Han, S. , 2008-02-22 "For the Students, By the Students: Redirecting Civic Education through the American Trustees Project" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, San Jose Marriott, San Jose, California Online <PDF>. 2013-12-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p245668_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Traditional efforts to engage young people in democratic life have largely been relegated to Government and Political Science courses and have primarily focused on teaching large amount of historical and political information. Infocentric approaches, ironically, have done little to motivate young people to care about their systems and tend to deny three realities of college students, including how many of them: do not like politics, are not easily inspired by sanitized civic discourses, and have a difficult time learning empowered citizenship in the “hidden (hierarchical) curriculum” of the schools. This paper reports on a program that uses narrative theory, role models, a group assignment and documentary filmmaking to re-engage university level Communication students in civic life. Specifically, we detail how the American Trustees project makes civics instruction more concrete and meaningful, how it gives students opportunities to exercise agency and engage in self-reflection, and how it provides cues to a new, more youthful “language of citizenship” (as these films are created by and for young people). An evaluation of the course provides encouraging findings as well as questions for future research.

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