Integrating International Issues with Civic Engagement in the Classroom

While many civics educators encourage issues deliberation in their classes, they do not know enough about what students learn from such deliberations, or how they should be structured to increase valued civic outcomes. Diana Hess examines how participation in ‘issues deliberations’ affects high school students’ (1) content knowledge and understanding (2) civic skills (3) participative dispositions, and (4) actual participation in civic activities, both while in high school and after graduation. Her research investigates teaching strategies, class composition, length and depth of instruction, teachers’ knowledge and skills, and content and currency of issues students are deliberating. These factors are assessed with the goal of learning more about how teachers and schools should structure issues deliberations to maximize their potential as a form of civic education.


Carnegie Corporation/Brown University

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Completed on June 30, 2007

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Diana Hess