Youth Engagement in Electoral Activities: A Collaborative Evaluation of a Civic Education Project

Michael J. Berson, Liliana Rodríguez-Campos, Connie Walker-Egea, Corina Owens, Aarti Bellara


Youth civic engagement is recognized as an essential component necessary for the preservation of democratic practices; however, inadequate levels of civic participation persist among young people. Past research has shown that young people are more likely to participate in politics when they are informed. We present survey data collected from middle and high school students during a collaborative evaluation of a civic education project. A total of 4492 students participated in the pre-survey, and 3180 students participated in the post-survey. The aim of this part of the evaluation was to explore students’ civic engagement before and after the infusion of civic education into the curriculum. We discuss reasons hindering students’ intent to vote, their satisfaction level with the 2008 presidential election, and how students planned to become involved in the 2012 presidential election. The results of the post-survey show an increase in students registered to vote and students’ intent to register to vote after the infusion of civic education into the curriculum. The findings suggest that civic education seems to positively influence students’ political behavior.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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