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  • Educating for Global Citizenship: A Theoretical Account and Quantitative Analysis

    Educating for Global Citizenship: A Theoretical Account and Quantitative Analysis

    Universities regularly suggest that they are educating for global citizenship. Yet global citizenship is rarely defined with precision, and the process for encouraging global citizenship is often unclear. This article examines a pedagogical effort to encourage global citizenship through global service-learning (GSL) courses offered by a nonprofit/university partnership. A quantitative instrument examined students’ shifts in respect to global civic engagement and awareness. The study compared students in three categories: 1) a typical composition course on campus; 2) GSL courses without the global citizenship curriculum; and 3) GSL courses that include the global citizenship curriculum. The results suggest significant gains in global civic engagement and awareness occur only in the context of a carefully constructed, deliberate global citizenship curriculum in addition to exposure to community-driven GSL.
  • Social Media, Social Capital, and the Civic Participation of College Students

    Social Media, Social Capital, and the Civic Participation of College Students

    In recent years, social media technology has transformed the ways that Americans interact with each other. Social media usage is particularly high among young adults and college students (Lenhart et al., 2010), and recent research suggests that there is a relationship between social media usage and participation in civic and political activities (e.g., Fenton, 2011; Hampton et al. 2011). Recently, research has also examined the relationship between the Internet (and social media) and social capital (e.g., Shaw et al 2001; Ellison et al, 2007, Valenzuela et al., 2009). The research presented here assesses the extent to which students at a large, public, Midwestern university utilized social media during the 2010 midterm election year, the types of social media they preferred, their levels of social capital, and any impact these factors had on student political and community participation. With the exception of a weak, marginally significant association between Twitter usage and political participation, social media usage does not appear to be directly associated with traditional forms of student civic participation. However, we did find evidence of an indirect, mediated association between students’ social media usage and their civic participation. The importance of the Internet and social media for students appears to lie in its utility as an information gathering tool. Specifically, we found that students who used social media more frequently were more likely to access information about news online, which had a positive impact on levels of civic participation.
  • Book Review: Civic Studies: Approaches to the Emerging Field

    Book Review: Civic Studies: Approaches to the Emerging Field

    Peter Levine and Karol Edward Sołtan, editors. CIVIC STUDIES: APPROACHES TO THE EMERGING FIELD. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Colleges and Universities, 2014.
  • Feature Videos: What’s happening at Missouri State University

    Feature Videos: What’s happening at Missouri State University

    The Feature section is a new resource in the eJournal for posting informative contributions. In this issue we focus on Missouri State University to see some of its efforts in public affairs. The three videos are: Missouri State University: Our Mission is Public Affairs, MSU’s 2014 PA Conference, and Stomp Out Hunger.