Citizenship education has long been recognized as a function of public higher education in the United States, and as a public good. Many authors and higher education organizations assert that the civic mission of higher education has receded in the past 15 years. This study examined recommended strategies to reinvigorate the civic mission that included integration of civic themes in curriculum and the use of active learning methods in the classroom. Exposure to a leadership minor course that integrates the two strategies was also included in the research design. The research design examined the effect of these two recommended strategies on the eight outcomes of the Social Change Model of Leadership Development. A web-based survey instrument included items associated with civic themes, active learning methods, exposure to a leadership minor course, demographic variables, pre-college experiences, and selected experiences during college. The Socially Responsible Leadership Scale - Revision 2 was used to measure the dependent variables. The survey was administered to a random sample of junior and seniors at a large public university with very high research activity. The survey was completed by 331 respondents for a 17 percent response rate. Analyses included correlation, t-tests, ANOVA, and multiple regression. The results provided evidence that the recommended strategies were positively correlated with the dependent variables, and had a positive significant effect on most of the eight outcomes. In the regression analyses, exposure to civic themes in curriculum and active learning methods in the classroom was the only block that resulted in a statistically significant F-change value for all eight outcomes when added to the model, highlighting the explanatory power of these two strategies. In summary, the research design found that these two strategies have merit in efforts to develop civic knowledge, skills, and attitudes among undergraduates as defined by the Social Change Model of Leadership Development.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. June 2012. Major: Educational Policy and Administration. Advisor: Darwin D. Hendel. 1 computer file (PDF); xi, 218 pages, appendices A-G.
Nobbe, June Elly.
Citizenship education in public higher education: curricular strategies to promote the development of civic knowledge, skills, and attitudes..
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