Does A Lack Of Civics Education Make Americans Less Likely To Vote?

By Steve Goldstein
Published: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 11:36am
Updated: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 12:27pm

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I Voted Sticker
Jackie Hai/KJZZ
An "I Voted" sticker from Arizona's 2018 elections.

Low voter turnout continues to be a concern for citizens, educators and even elected officials. While the 2016 presidential election year saw a 61.4 percent voter participation, Phoenix’s recent mayoral runoff election had about one-third of that.

How interested are Americans in voting? How much of a generational difference are we seeing when it comes to high-efficacy voting? And, finally, does the de-emphasizing of civics education in schools affect that?

Harvard University professor Danielle Allen has studied and written about civics education extensively, and she was recently in the area as part of a presentation for ASU’s School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership. It was called "Democratic Knowledge: A Roadmap for Rebuilding Civic Education."

The Show caught up with her to talk about her work, beginning with what she defines as civics education.

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