In ‘ Redesigning Civic Education for the Digital Age: Participatory Politics and the Pursuit of Democratic Engagement’, Joseph Kahne, Erica Hodgin, and Elyse Eidman-Aadahl address transforming civic education to help youth respond effectively to the democratic opportunities and challenges presented by digital media. Published in Theory & Research in Social Education, the research analyses a nationally representative survey to understand new technology-driven practices in civic engagement, and explores a responsive curricular reform of civic education.
Joseph Kahne, Professor of Education at Mills College, Oakland, is also Chair of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP), in addition to being the Ted and Jo Dutton Presidential Professor for Education Policy and Politics at the University of California, Riverside. Erica Hodgin, Associate Director of the Civic Engagement Research Group at Mills College, is also the Research Director of the Educating for Participatory Politics project, attached to the MacArthur research network. Kahne and Hodgin are also Co-Principal Investigators at the Educating for Democracy in the Digital Age initiative, created in partnership with Oakland Unified School District and the National Writing Project. Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, Executive Director of the National Writing Project, founded NWP’s digital media and learning initiative Digital Is, in addition to co-creating the YOUmedia Learning Labs network, the Connected Learning Alliance, the Make to Learn Initiative.
In light of the major social transformations driven by new media and digital technology, and the socially responsive traditions of civic education, the research examines how civic and political engagement is manifested in the digital age and identifies the gaps in civic education practice. Kahne, Hodgin, and Eidman-Aadahl draw on the 2013 Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP) Survey, and look further to the Pew Internet and American Life Project surveys (2008, 2012). The authors identify major challenges to effective youth civic engagement, and discuss the democratic potential of curricular reform.