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Civic Knowledge and School Participation: A Role for Schools in Promoting Civic Learning

Kerry J. Kennedy, Joanna Li Lijuan, Keith Can Ki

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Civic participation is a basic requirement of democratic citizenship and such civic experiences can be gained during the school years. We investigated the influences on student participation in Hong Kong schools and the effect of this participation on civic knowledge. Using secondary data, we first examined the mediated effect of students’ Citizenship Self-efficacy and Interest in Political and Social Issues on their School Participation through Internal Political Efficacy. We then investigated the effects of School Participation on Civic Knowledge. Multilevel structural equation modelling (MSEM) was used to analyze models at school and student levels. Nevertheless, the results provided some support for the mediated relationship at the student level but less so at the school level. The school level effect of School Participation on Civic Knowledge was an important finding. Developing students’ interest in political and social issues and their political efficacy will encourage students to participate in school civic activities and will impact positively on their civic knowledge and understanding.

Keywords: civic learning – school participation – civic knowledge


Bibliography: Kennedy, Kerry J./Lijuan, Joanna Li/Ki, Keith Can: Civic Knowledge and School Participation: A Role for Schools in Promoting Civic Learning, PCS, 2-2014, pp. 197-216.