CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)
conducts research on the civic and political engagement of young Americans.
The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement

April 2014 E-Update

April 16th, 2014
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How do American Teenagers Spend their Time? And which Harry Potter Character do they Resemble Most?

In our most recent working paper, CIRCLE Deputy Director Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg analyzes how the country’s youth spend their out-of-school time. The study  focuses especially on students’ participation in extracurricular activities, which has changed significantly over the past few decades and reflects troubling socioeconomic gaps.

In her innovative research, Kawashima-Ginsberg identifies six distinct “clusters” of students whose extracurricular interests and leisure-time use predict various academic, social, and psychological patterns. To better describe and contextualize the nature of these groups, each cluster is represented by a Harry Potter character.

It is crucial, the paper argues, for educators and practitioners to understand these trends and the changing landscape of teenage time use, so that they may develop programs and interventions that foster positive youth development and civic engagement.

Read the full working paper HERE.


CIRCLE Analysis Reveals Significant Findings about Humanities Network

As part of the national effort, “Humanities at the Crossroads,” CIRCLE collaborated with Indiana Humanities to study the network of public humanities in the Hoosier state.

The study was innovative in its use of network analysis to investigate a set of organizations and individuals that address civic purposes together. This opportunity to assess the network of organizations in one domain of civic work in one state will serve as a model for further research on civic engagement.

The analysis revealed significant findings, such as the central role that three organizations play as “hubs” for the humanities in the state, and the fact that historical associations are the most prominent humanities organizations.

Read more HERE.

Stay connected to CIRCLE on Facebook and Twitter to learn more. Sign up here for CIRCLE’s monthly e-update.

Upcoming Deadline for Campus Voting Study

More than 250 universities have received detailed campus voting reports as part of our National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, a groundbreaking study that provides colleges with their student registration and voting rates.

The deadline to sign up for the study and receive Fall 2012 voting data is April 28.

Click here to learn more and sign up, and view a sample report to learn more about what you receive as a participating campus.

What Will Young Americans Learn from ObamaCare?

In an op-ed published last month on, CIRCLE Director Peter Levine argues that a whole generation’s political beliefs will be influenced by the outcome of ObamaCare.

“The next fifty years of American politics and policy will be strongly influenced by the conclusions that the Millennials derive from the present moment,” he writes.

Read the op-ed: “ObamaCare and America’s youth — why lessons of 2014 will last a lifetime

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