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DoB Torney Purta

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Published on October 15, 2007

Author: Gulkund

Source: authorstream.com

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U.S. Adolescents and Democracy: Popular Misconceptions Versus Research Results :  U.S. Adolescents and Democracy: Popular Misconceptions Versus Research Results Professor Judith Torney-Purta Department of Human Development College of Education University of Maryland College Park www.wam.umd.edu/~iea jt22@umail.umd.edu:  Professor Judith Torney-Purta Department of Human Development College of Education University of Maryland College Park www.wam.umd.edu/~iea jt22@umail.umd.edu The IEA Civic Education Study:  The IEA Civic Education Study Early 1990s IEA’s member countries decided to go beyond science, math, and reading assessments. Mid-1990s Civ-Ed Phase 1 An international consensus process achieved agreement on concepts for a test and survey. 1999 Civ-Ed Phase 2 Nationally representative samples of 14-year-olds were tested in 28 countries. 2001 to the Present Data analyzed internationally and with special attention to U.S. in comparative context. Policy implications examined with other organizations Countries Testing in Civic Education Study at Age 14:  Countries Testing in Civic Education Study at Age 14 Australia, England, United States Belgium (French), Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland Hong Kong (SAR) Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Slovenia Chile, Colombia Percent of Chilean 14-year-olds Answering Questions about Ideals Correctly:  Percent of Chilean 14-year-olds Answering Questions about Ideals Correctly Percent of Chilean 14-year-olds Answering Potential Threats Questions Correctly:  Percent of Chilean 14-year-olds Answering Potential Threats Questions Correctly The IEA Study in the United States:  The IEA Study in the United States IEA Civic Education Study tested the cohort that became first-time voters in the 2004 election. Analyzed in the context of 27 other countries To compare them; To expand our view of what is possible through education; To confront common misconceptions about youth and democracy in the U.S. I hope to convince you of:  I hope to convince you of Need for targeted policy initiatives strengthening civic education: Supportive of political legitimacy through civic and political participation; Developmentally sound; Based on recent research evidence. Misconceptions:  Misconceptions The long history of our democracy ensures continuing legitimacy of its institutions. Civic engagement means voting or party membership, as in past generations. Teaching civic knowledge will ensure engagement. If we ensure that college-bound students participate, inequality is of little importance. Students in different regions of the U.S are equally well prepared for citizenship. There are no clear paths to improving civic education in school. Theme 1: IEA Findings about Political Legitimacy :  Theme 1: IEA Findings about Political Legitimacy It Is True That::  It Is True That: Adolescents in more durable democracies have more trust in governmental institutions. But It is Also True That: Trust in courts is only moderately high and trust in political parties is low. The small group of students that does not trust courts also expresses little belief in the importance of obedience to law. U.S. Adolescents’ Trust in Three Institutions:  U.S. Adolescents’ Trust in Three Institutions Always Never “A Good Citizen Obeys the Law” by Trust in the Courts (U.S.):  “A Good Citizen Obeys the Law” by Trust in the Courts (U.S.) Not Important Very Important Conclusions about Trust and Legitimacy:  Conclusions about Trust and Legitimacy The United States has fewer problems than new democracies. However, the IEA findings about trust signal potential weakening of governmental legitimacy. Theme 2: IEA Findings about Civic Engagement for This Generation:  Theme 2: IEA Findings about Civic Engagement for This Generation It is True That::  It is True That: Voting ranks high for this generation. But It Is Also True That: Other types of engagement are just as important. Beliefs about What the Good Adult Citizen Should Do (U.S.):  Beliefs about What the Good Adult Citizen Should Do (U.S.) Not Important Very Important Expected Future Engagement:  Expected Future Engagement Conclusions about Engagement:  Conclusions about Engagement We are seeing the future, but it differs from current generations of adults. We need to understand new forms of participation and how they relate to conventional or electoral participation. Theme 3: IEA Findings About Civic Knowledge and Engagement:  Theme 3: IEA Findings About Civic Knowledge and Engagement It is True That::  It is True That: Civic knowledge is important. But It Is Also True That: Participatory experience at school is important. Mixed Knowledge Performance Among Middle School Students in the U.S. :  Mixed Knowledge Performance Among Middle School Students in the U.S. U.S. students had the highest scores of the 28 countries on skills in interpreting political communication. U.S. students had scores ranking 10th out of 28 in understanding concepts and ideals of democracy. Students’ Expectations of Informed Voting by Three Influences:  Students’ Expectations of Informed Voting by Three Influences Students’ Expectations of Community Participation by Three Influences:  Students’ Expectations of Community Participation by Three Influences Those Who Expect to Vote and to Participate in the Community Are Those Who::  Those Who Expect to Vote and to Participate in the Community Are Those Who: Participate in respectful discourse about issues in their classroom; Connect to the real political world by reading newspapers; Have had opportunities to participate efficaciously with other students at school. Conclusions about Knowledge and Engagement:  Conclusions about Knowledge and Engagement Enhancing students’ civic knowledge is not sufficient to ensure engagement. Participatory experiences in classroom, school, and community are also important. Programs promoting competencies for citizenship should begin no later than middle school. Theme 4: IEA Findings about Inequality:  Theme 4: IEA Findings about Inequality It Is True That::  It Is True That: Reports of international studies usually focus on average achievement not variability. It is Also True That: There is greater variability and inequality in the U.S. than in most of the other 27 countries. Students’ Expectations of Voting by Projected Future Education:  Students’ Expectations of Voting by Projected Future Education Students’ Expectations of Voting by Home Educational Resources:  Students’ Expectations of Voting by Home Educational Resources Conclusions about Inequality:  Conclusions about Inequality Current levels of disparity between the college-bound and non-college bound in expected electoral participation should be of concern in a democracy. Experience in other countries shows that schools can help to reduce some of these inequalities. Theme 5: IEA Findings about Gender and Regional Differences:  Theme 5: IEA Findings about Gender and Regional Differences It is True That::  It is True That: Previously documented gender differences favoring males’ civic knowledge have disappeared. But It Is Also True That: Females are more likely to expect to participate. Unexpected regional differences within the U.S. appear among these 14-year-olds. Students’ Views of Expected Participation and Attitudes by Gender:  Students’ Views of Expected Participation and Attitudes by Gender Students’ Civic Knowledge by Region:  Students’ Civic Knowledge by Region Students’ Expectations of Community Participation by Region:  Students’ Expectations of Community Participation by Region Conclusions about Region and Gender:  Conclusions about Region and Gender Consider ways that institutions can support young women’s readiness to participate. Conduct a full examination of differences in citizenship competencies by region and state. Theme 6: IEA Results and Civic Education at School:  Theme 6: IEA Results and Civic Education at School It Is True That::  It Is True That: This subject was neglected for more than a decade. But It Is Also True That: Recent research shows that teaching civic content and participatory experience in school can make a difference. Students’ Civic Knowledge by Study of Civic-Related Topics:  Students’ Civic Knowledge by Study of Civic-Related Topics Students’ Expected Actions and Attitudes by Confident School Participation:  Students’ Expected Actions and Attitudes by Confident School Participation Students’ Civic Knowledge by Teachers’ Experience:  Students’ Civic Knowledge by Teachers’ Experience Students’ Likelihood of Informed Voting by Teachers’ Experience:  Students’ Likelihood of Informed Voting by Teachers’ Experience Conclusions about Schools:  Conclusions about Schools Return social studies with a civic-focus to the curriculum starting at or before middle school. Education Commission of the States Civic Mission of School Campaign Enhance professional development for teachers. Specific Policy Initiatives::  Specific Policy Initiatives: Civic themes in school reform legislation; Teaching materials for reading that incorporate civic themes; NAEP Civic state-level results; Multi-method explorations and evaluations of civic engagement; Enlarged pool of providers of in-service education with civic-related focus. Slide46:  Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must undergo the fatigues of supporting it. Thomas Jefferson

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