Who‘s Afraid of Politics? On the Need to Teach Political Engagement

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

Abstract: There is a crisis in the political body today and we, as professors at institutions of higher education, share responsibility for it. The crisis of which we speak is widespread cynicism, inaction, and disengagement from the political realm and from political processes. While bemoaning students‘ political apathy, individualism, and obedience in the name of grades, we rarely ask about our role in this state of affairs. Dare we admit that students have learned all too well what we have taught them, even if we have taught it unintentionally through our own aloofness and disengagement? It is clear that most of us have given up on venturing into political territory, for many reasons. We have to recognize that in doing so we feed the machine of disengagement. We are in part to blame, but we are not the only ones. Primary and secondary schoolteachers are our partners in this apathy-mongering. Chris Wilkins, a researcher in Britain, found that future teachers had their own deflated political views: they consider politics irrelevant to their daily lives and inaccessible even if they want to participate (1999).

Additional Information

Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 14 (1), 83-100
Language: English
Date: 2010
Political engagement, Higher education institutions, Student apathy

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