Political Science Now

Teaching Active Citizenship: A Companion to the Traditional Political Science Curriculum

Virtual Issue: Diversity, Inclusiveness, and Inequality

The APSA Presidential Task Force Report ‘Political Science in the 21st Century report’, now just over five years old, offered a number of recommendations to the discipline including several related to political science research on diversity and racial, ethnic, and gendered marginalization. After reading APSA journals articles published in the years prior to and following the taskforce report, Dianne Pinderhughes and Maryann Kwakwa, both of the University of Notre Dame, argue that, while there have been important steps toward increasing multicultural diversity in political science research and teaching, the barriers that contributed to its marginalization in the past continue to exist. The following article is included in the virtual review issue.

Teaching Active Citizenship: A Companion to the Traditional Political Science Curriculum

Michael SmithEmporia State University and The Honorable Bob Graham, United States Senate (Retired) 

The authors of this article advocate a new curriculum that can be applied to American government, introduction to political science, and state and local government courses. For the past half-century, high school and college general-education requirements have deemphasized civics, government, and political science. In response to the corresponding decrease in the nation’s civic health, this proposal is based on three principles. First, teaching citizenship is different than teaching civics. Second, citizenship is taught most effectively by engagement in the “real world,” with students completing projects that take them step by step through the policy-change process. Finally, the education and preparation of future high school government teachers needs to change to encourage them to teach their students the rights, responsibilities, and competencies of active citizenship.

PS: Political Science & PoliticsVolume 47Issue 3 July 2014 , pp. 703-710