Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Deborah L. Vietze

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Educational Leadership | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology | Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration | Junior High, Intermediate, Middle School Education and Teaching | Liberal Studies | Other Education | Other Educational Administration and Supervision | Other Teacher Education and Professional Development | Secondary Education | Special Education Administration | Urban Education


civic engagement education; civic engagement; civic education; urban schools; middle schools; high schools


Civic engagement education prepares students to actively engage in social and political processes and influence community change. Many educators believe that civic engagement ought to be a central mission of schools because: 1. Adolescent civic engagement predicts adult civic engagement; 2. Schools may be able to reduce the inequity in political participation between individuals of different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, and 3: Civic engagement orientation and competencies can be developed through any and all content courses and extracurricular opportunities. This literature review on civic engagement education in urban public middle and high schools over the past 15 years explores: 1. Theories and approaches to civic engagement education; 2. Current challenges facing civic engagement education; and 3. Insight into the efficacy of current civic engagement education curricula and pedagogy, based on research findings. Further research into predictors and outcomes of civic engagement is needed due to significant limitations that exist. Very few overarching models exist that describe what inputs influence and what outcomes result from youth civic engagement. A new model is offered in this thesis that can guide future development and implementation of civic engagement curriculum, teacher training, and environment.