FEATURED: The Classroom-Kitchen Table Connection: The Effects of Political Discussion on Youth Knowledge and Efficacy
By Dr. Tim Vercellotti and Dr. Elizabeth C. Matto
CIRCLE Working Paper #72 addresses whether efforts to systematically incorporate media into school curricula increases several elements of civic engagement, including students’ media use, political knowledge or their sense of being able to understand and influence politics (internal political efficacy). In “The Classroom-Kitchen Table Connection: The Effects of Political Discussion on Youth Knowledge and Efficacy,” the authors find that the combination of reading news articles and discussing them at home and school related to increased information-seeking and political knowledge among students who were not in advanced placement and honors classes. Moreover, they find that students who were assigned to discuss articles at home with parents and who had parents who scored low on measures of political knowledge and efficacy, were the most likely to have increased scores on both dimensions by the end of the experiment. These results could provide guidance to practitioners looking for ways to involve parents in reinforcing what happens in the classroom by extending political discussions to the home as well.
Suggested Citation: Vercellotti, T., & Matto, E. (2010). The Classroom-Kitchen Table Connection: The Effects of Political Discussion on Youth Knowledge and Efficacy (CIRCLE Working Paper No. 72). Retrieved from Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) website: http://civicyouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/WP_72_Vercello