High-Impact Teaching Practices and Undergraduates’ Political Efficacy

High-Impact Teaching Practices and Undergraduates’ Political Efficacy

By Marcie L. Reynolds, Tarleton State University

Increasing civic engagement across the demographic and political spectrum is a particularly timely goal, especially for institutions of higher education. Improving undergraduate students’ internal and external political efficacy strengthens ties between citizens and their governments and is a means to advance civic engagement. This exploratory study seeks to better understand how high impact teaching practices may positively affect these ties during the last years of formal education for many people. The majority of students currently enrolled in undergraduate classes are part of Generation Z (born between 1995 and 2010). They are the first generation to have lived all their lives in a virtually connected world which distinguishes them from previous generations. Many are interested in social issues but are less convinced about government’s ability to advance reform. High impact teaching practices encourage student participation by advancing interactions within the class and among outside entities. Political efficacy can be especially encouraged when the outside entities are government actors.

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The Journal of Political Science Education is an intellectually rigorous, path-breaking, agenda-setting journal that publishes the highest quality scholarship on teaching and pedagogical issues in political science. The journal aims to represent the full range of questions, issues and approaches regarding political science education, including teaching-related issues, methods and techniques, learning/teaching activities and devices, educational assessment in political science, graduate education, and curriculum development.


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