Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Immigrant Students and Civic Education in the U.S.: Evidence from the 2006 Civic and Political Health of the Nation Survey

Presented at German-American Conference by Dr Mark Hugo Lopez

Utilizing the 2006 Civic and Political Health of the Nation Survey, this paper presents new evidence on the civic education experiences of young people, especially young immigrants. Overall, young immigrants, both students and non-students, experience civic education differently than their native counterparts, though immigrant students’ civic experiences are relatively more similar to those of their native counterparts than immigrant youth who are not currently students. This paper also presents evidence on the links between civic education experiences and political knowledge. In this respect, traditional civic themes, and the encouragement of students to make up their minds issues appears to have a sizeable positive relationship with the political knowledge of immigrant students, though all effects are statistically indistinguishable from zero.

Mark Lopez is Research Director at the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) and a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland 's School of Public Policy . His research work includes young people's electoral participation, the civic engagement of immigrants, the earnings differential between U.S. born Hispanic faculty and other faculty, the impact of bilingual education programs on long-term student achievement etc.

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