Educating for Democracy in a Partisan Age

Kahne, J. and Bowyer, B. (2017) ‘Educating for Democracy in a Partisan Age’, American Educational Research Journal, 54(1), p.3-34.

This article is right along the lines I’ve been thinking about (in the ‘digital citizenship’ strand of my rhyzome). They used social media style, politically polarised items to test respondents’ reactions. Three key findings were

  • Respondents (aged 15-27) reacted (to some degree) according to their personal political beliefs, not the likelihood of the item being true (even when it was clearly false)
  • They were not more likely to answer objectively if they were more knowledgeable about politics.
  • But they were more likely to react objectively if they (reported that they) had had media literacy lessons in school.

The study didn’t ask what the lessons were like, though…so that’s another question.

The bibliography should also be very useful.


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