Civics and Internet Scholar Joseph Kahne to Speak at “Civics 2.0: Citizenship Education for a New Generation” Event on Oct. 20

WASHINGTON, October 19, 2011 —The Internet and political engagement will be the topic of a presentation by civic engagement scholar Joseph Kahne, education professor at Mills College and Chair of the MacArthur Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP), at the American Enterprise Institute’s daylong event, “Civics 2.0: Citizenship Education for a New Generation,”on Thursday, Oct. 20.  His presentation will be broadcasted live online at 2:05 p.m. EDT.

Earlier this year, Kahne conducted the first-of-its-kind longitudinal study by civic learning scholars of high schools students’ Internet use and civic engagement.

“Indeed, a big part of the reason for our interest in digital media is that it may help us recognize forms of civic and political engagement that matter for many youth and it may help us tap their broader engagement with society and build bridges to civic and political life,” said Kahne.  

His presentation further explores this idea by addressing key areas of civic education:

  • A statistical overview of the youngest generation’s participation in civic life
  • The transition of civic and political content to online spaces
  • Opportunities for educators to foster civic and political engagement through use of digital media
  • Ways in which policymakers can support these educational efforts

Kahne draws on four separate studies to provide direction for educators:

  • Findings related to the civic impact and potential of online participatory communities
  • Ways digital media may foster or constrain exposure to diverse perspectives
  • Needs related to digital media literacy
  • Opportunities associated with video game play

“These four studies provide an early look at the ways online participation and media literacy education may influence both on and offline civic activity and development. Often, our findings call conventional wisdom into question,” said Kahne. The MacArthur Network on Youth & Participatory Politics, which Kahne Chairs, will build on these study results and will conduct national surveys and launch in-depth qualitative studies of the relationship between digital media, youth and political engagement.

Event Information:

Date:                       Thursday, October 20, 2011
Time:                       2:05 p.m. – 3:20 p.m. EDT
Live Webcast:
Location:                AEI, Twelfth Floor 1150 Seventeenth Street,
                                NW, Washington, DC 200236

About YPP:
The MacArthur Network on Youth and Participatory Politics is an interdisciplinary network of scholars working together to understand the ways youth participation in online networks is shaping and reshaping youth civic and political engagement in the public sphere.

The YPP Network examines:

  • The ways new media may foster a new paradigm for participation in the public sphere
  • How frequently and how equitably youth engage in networked public participation
  • The relationship between online participatory practices and political participation
  • Ways to promote more frequent, more equitable, and higher quality political engagement via participation with new media

Media Contact:

Whitney Burke
Digital Media & Learning Research Hub
University California Humanities Research Institute
tel. 949-824-4587