Learning to Think Politically: Toward More Complete Disciplinary Knowledge in Civics and Government Courses

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Cheryl A. Ayers (Creator)
Wayne Journell, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Secondary civics and government courses are often framed as a content area in which students learn about processes of government and ways of participating in a democratic society, as opposed to a discipline in which students use specific tools and ways of thinking that mimic those used by professionals within that discipline. In this article, we call for an increased emphasis on disciplinary knowledge in civics and government courses, specifically knowledge that utilizes the tools and methodologies of political scientists. Through a study of an exemplary civics teacher during the 2012 Presidential Election, we illustrate the benefits of a disciplinary approach to civics instruction. Our findings suggest that such an approach allows students to better understand tools of social inquiry and provides them with the skills to think critically about politics and political behavior.

Additional Information

Theory & Research in Social Education, 43(1), 28-67
Language: English
Date: 2015
civics, disciplinary knowledge, electoral politics, government, political science, polling data, thinking politically

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