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Administrative Issues Journal

Abstract

There is growing international concern about the lack of civic engagement among the youth in many nations. These concerns have sparked renewed interest in the quantity and quality of civic education in public schools in the United States. The objective of this study is to determine if the concerns about civic education are about the sufficiency of academic content related to civic education or if the concerns reflect a lack of consensus regarding the question of "What makes a good citizen?" To address this question, this paper examines state social studies content standards from five U.S. states to determine if specific perspectives on citizenship are present in the standards and which perspectives are emphasized. University websites are also analyzed to assess their focus on citizenship. The study finds that the citizenship education in K-12 schools is robust, and specific perspectives are emphasized. This emphasis on specific perspectives, as opposed to a lack of academic content related to civic education, may be at the heart of the debate over citizenship education.

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