Digital civic learning in schools: Youth perspectives and experiences

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: While living in the information age is not new, the continued spread of dis/mis/information in tandem with rising partisanship has made clear the educational need for robust and critical information and media literacy education (Bulger and Davison, 2018; Garcia et al., 2021; Reich, 2018; Wineburg and McGrew, 2016). Given that most young people (and adults) today get their information and news about the world through online sources, including social media (Pew Research Center, 2018; Garcia et al., 2021), it is imperative for the health of the American democracy that students’ school-based civic learning opportunities include digital civic learning, too. This paper aims to offer a study into one such schooling landscape in a large and diverse public school district in the USA. Design/methodology/approach: A mixed-method approach – including an online survey and face-to-face group interviews – was used to understand the opportunity landscape more broadly and glean insight into the texture and nuance of youth perspectives and experiences on digital civic learning. Findings: Analysis of data reveals a dearth of consistent and routine opportunities for digital civic learning within the Rio Public School District context. Originality/value: Empirical research that examines and makes visible students’ lived experiences and perspectives with digital civic information is essential if as educators and researchers, the authors are to successfully design for more and better of these experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-725
Number of pages17
JournalInformation and Learning Science
Volume122
Issue number11-12
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 17 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author would like to especially thank Drs Erica Hodgin and Joseph Kahne of the Civic Engagement Research Group for their supportive collaboration and guidance in this research. In addition, they are very grateful to the district leader, Carolyn Power, for their collaboration and expertise, which made this research possible. Funding for the work was made possible in part by The John Randolf Haynes Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited.

Keywords

  • Civic engagement
  • Digital civic learning
  • Information literacy
  • Media literacy
  • Mixed-methods
  • Youth research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences

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