Civic education: Do liberals do it better?
Journal of Political Ideologies
Recent research has found that civic education improves the democratic capacity of students and that teachers who employ an ‘open classroom’ approach seem to perform better at accomplishing this goal. We build on behavioural literature suggesting that variation in personality traits across ideology may account for why liberal middle school teachers would be more likely to foster an open classroom climate and as a result do a better job than their conservative counterparts at stimulating in their students’ political knowledge, an important component of democratic capacity. We estimate a series of quasi-experimental multilevel models using data from a survey of American students and teachers. The results indicate that liberal teachers tend to use an open classroom approach more frequently and that the students with the highest levels of political knowledge are in classes taught by liberal teachers. This effect holds up when controlling for individual-level predictors of student knowledge.
Department of Political Science
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
Gainous, Jason and Martens, Allison M., "Civic education: Do liberals do it better?" (2016). Faculty Publications. 1038.