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Consortium on Chicago School Research and Mills College. What Does the Research Say About Effective Civic Education at the High School Level?. Joseph Kahne Mills College Susan Sporte Consortium on Chicago School Research

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

Consortium on Chicago School Research

and

Mills College

What Does the Research Say About Effective Civic Education at the High School Level?

Joseph KahneMills College

Susan Sporte

Consortium on Chicago School Research

Alternatives to Large, Traditional High Schools Event: CIRCLE, July 6, 2005

goals of presentation
Discuss a set of strategies for fostering commitments to civic engagement.

Share findings from a study in Chicago that examines the impact of these strategies.

Identify school level factors that promote the provision of these opportunities for civic development (including small schools).

Goals of Presentation
slide3
Goal

Goal: The commitment and capacity to work to improve one’s community and the broader society.

six promising practices
Instruction in Government, History, Law and Democracy (CMS#1)

Discussion of Current Events of Interest to Students (CMS #2)

Community Service and Service Learning (CMS #3)

Extracurricular Activities (CMS #4)

Voice in the School and the Classroom (CMS #5)

Simulations of Democratic Processes and Procedures. (CMS #6)

Exposure to Role Models

Six Promising Practices
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Goal: An Identity Committed to Civic Engagement

Civic Mission of Schools

“6 Promising Practices”

Capacitiesfor informed civic engagement

Connectionsto those committed to civic engagement

Commitmentsto issues and ideals

An identity committed to

Civic Engagement

measures used in this study
Measures Used in this Study

Home and School Context

Parental Support for Student Learning (a=.82)

Level of Civic Engagement in each Student’s Community (a=.75)

School Culture Indicators

Student Classroom Behavior (a=.61)

Academic Personalism (a=.72)

Student/Teacher Trust (a=.78)

measures cont d
Exposure to Curricular Supports

Classroom Civic Opportunities (includes CMS recommendations 2,3,5, and 6 + role models (a=.76)

Participation in after-school activities (CMS #4)

Content tied to student interest

Controls

Prior commitment to civic engagement

School characteristics

Student demographics

Student academic indicators

Measures, Cont’d
analytic method
Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM)

Survey of 9,800 students in 2001 and 2003.

Analytic Method
findings
The following were significantly related to civic commitments: Beta

Classroom Civic Opportunities .80

Content tied to student interests .08

After school activities .13

Prior commitment: help in community .09

Findings
findings cont d
Also significantly related to civic commitments: Beta

Peer support for academics .04

Civic engagement in each .19

Student’s community

Parent support for academics .10

SES .04

Female .08

Findings, Cont’d
findings cont d1
Not significantly related:

Student assessment of student voice in school

Teacher/student trust

Concentration of poverty in student’s census block

Prior academic achievement

Findings, Cont’d
interpretation
Opportunities for civic development matter—they promote civic commitments even when controlling for demographics, prior achievement and prior commitments,

The effect size of these opportunities indicate that they matter quite a bit. Schools can make a significant difference in this regard.

Student voice in the school is the one exception—but student voice in the classroom did appear to matter.

Interpretation
factors promoting classroom opportunities
School-level factors

Average achievement in the school .08

Teacher knowledge of student culture .11

Small high schools .07

Factors promoting classroom opportunities
prevalence of classroom opportunities in past year
65% of students reported they had not worked on a project to improve their community in any of their classes.

50% had not been required to keep up with politics of government in any of their classes.

56% had not participated in a role play or simulation in any of their classes.

Prevalence of Classroom Opportunities in Past Year
summary
What happens in classrooms can foster civic commitments – even when compared with the influence of the home and the community.

Schools in Chicago could enhance the volume of these opportunities.

Small schools may make provision of such opportunities more likely.

Summary