The Effect of We the People...Project Citizen on the Civic Skills and Dispositions of Taiwanese Senior High School Students

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(1)Journal of Taiwan Normal University: Education 2004, 49(1), 63-90. The Effect of We the People…Project Citizen on the Civic Skills and Dispositions of Taiwanese Senior High School Students Show-Mann Liou We the People…Project Citizen is a civic education program for secondary school students that promotes informed and responsible participation in local government. The purposes of this study were to evaluate the effects of Project Citizen upon the civic skills and dispositions of Taiwanese senior high school students, to explore factors associated with its effectiveness, and to document teachers’ perceptions of Project Citizen. This research employed a non-random, pretest-posttest comparison group, quasi-experimental design. Twelve Taiwanese senior high school teachers each with two classes of students, one experimental and one comparison, participated in this study. During the Fall semester of 2001 (September 2001 to January 2002), the experimental students received instruction in Project Citizen as an adjunct to the traditional instruction of Civics or Three Principles of the People; the comparison students received traditional, discipline-based instruction that focused on the hierarchical model of knowledge acquisition. Hierarchical ANCOVA of the posttest, using pretest as the covariate, indicated that students participating in Project Citizen significantly outperformed students in the comparison group in civic skills, political interest and commitment to rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Factors significantly associated with the effect of Project Citizen on the civic skills and dispositions of Taiwanese high school students included classroom climate and exposure to news of various resources. Qualitative analyses of the teacher interviews revealed that all participating teachers responded positively toward Project Citizen and showed interest in implementing it again in their classes. The results also suggested, however, that time constraints, students’ abilities, and the pressure from the Joint College Entrance Examination, among other factors, pose significant challenges to implementing Project Citizen in the Taiwanese context. Valuable suggestions to address these challenges, such as correlating Project Citizen with current curriculum frameworks and simplifying the procedures and materials, were provided by the participating teachers. Key Words: We the People…Project Citizen, Civic Skills, Civic Dispositions, Hierarchical Analysis of Covariance (Hierarchical ANCOVA). Constitutional democracy requires informed,. 1999a, 1999b; Vontz, Metcalf, & Patrick, 2000).. effective, and responsible citizens for its maintenance. Therefore, no one would question that to promote. and improvement. If the polity is to survive and. informed and responsible participation in civic life. thrive, citizens must have adequate knowledge of its. among a citizenry that is committed to the values and. principles and institutions, skills in applying this. principles. knowledge to civic life, and dispositions that incline. over-riding goal of civic education.. them to protect individual rights and to promote the common good of the society (NAEP, 1996; Patrick,. of. constitutional. democracy. is. the. As Taiwan is in transition from a “hard authoritarianism”. to. a. “soft. authoritarianism”.

(2) 64. Show-Mann Liou. (Wincker, 1984, p. 482) and moving toward a. If the goal of civic education is to cultivate informed,. constitutional democracy, the efficacy of citizenship. effective, and responsible participatory citizens who. education is even more crucial. After the termination. are able and willing to protect individual rights and to. of martial law in 1987, a series of political reforms. promote the common good of the society, the. have taken place in Taiwan, including revision of the. curriculum and instruction of civic education in. Constitution, re-election of parliament members, and. Taiwan needs to be altered to better reflect these. direct presidential elections. These political changes. characteristics.. indicate that cultivating the knowledge, dispositions. As a civic educator, I am concerned about the. and skills that are indispensable for enhancing the. civic education of Taiwanese students and the. development of democracy, guaranteeing the rule of. improvement of Taiwan’s civic education. In the. law, and fostering the participant perspective is the. summer of 2000, I was a research intern in the Social. main task of current civic education (National Taiwan. Studies Development Center of Indiana University. Normal University Department of Civic Education,. and helped the Center analyze a quasi-experimental. 1997).. study of Project Citizen and the Civic Development. Civic education in Taiwan, however, faces. of Adolescent Students in Indiana, Latvia, and. formidable barriers, most notably a gap between. Lithuania. I was impressed by its effectiveness in. pedagogical theory and classroom practice, and a. promoting adolescent students’ civic development.. conventional. the. Examination of the rationale and content of Project. acquisition of factual knowledge concerning the. Citizen suggests that Project Citizen can be used as a. framework of the political system, rather than. curriculum supplement to remedy some of the. stressing actual civic participation. These obstacles,. weaknesses of Taiwan’s civic education.. instructional. emphasis. upon. among others, impede the civic development of the. Although previous research has shown that. Taiwanese people and inhibit the flourishing of. Project. Taiwan’s newly-emerging constitutional democracy.. development of adolescent students (Liou, 2002;. Statement of the Problem. Soule, 2000; Tolo, 1998; Vontz, Metcalf, & Patrick,. Research practitioners. has and. shown specialists. positively. impacts. the. civic. among. 2000), these studies should be interpreted with. civics-related. caution because of flaws in the research design (e.g.. agreement that. Citizen. courses should be participatory, interactive, related to. Seoul,. 2000;. Tolo, 1998), poor measurement. life in the school and community, conducted in a. instruments (e.g. Vontz, et al., 2000), and limited. non-authoritarian environment, cognizant of social. special samples (e.g. Liou, 2002). In order to evaluate. diversity, and co-constructed with parents and the. the effects of Project Citizen upon the civic. community (Deng, Wen, Chang, & Doong, 1997;. development of Taiwanese high school students, a. Doong, 2001; Liou, 2000; Torney-Purta, Schwille, &. sound research design that employs valid and reliable. Amadeo, 1999). Therefore, encouraging students to. instrumentation is necessary.. become actively participating citizens is a central. Additionally, to achieve the maximum effect of. goal of citizenship education (Langton, 1988;. Project Citizen, further research into the factors. National Council for the Social Studies, 1981; 1994).. influencing. its. implementation. is. imperative..

(3) 65. The Effect of Project Citizen. Teachers’ perceptions and opinions of how to. statistical analysis of the data (e.g., using individual. improve Project Citizen are helpful for adapting. students as the unit of analysis, but not taking. Project Citizen to Taiwan’s educational environment. account the fact that individual students are nested in. and. classes). Therefore, the accuracy of these studies’. culture.. Every. country. has. its. specific. educational tradition and culture. What works in one. findings must be judged as questionable.. cultural context cannot be simply adopted in another. Purpose of the Study. setting with differing traditions, values, and meanings. The purposes of this study were to evaluate the. (Hahn, 1998). Project Citizen is a product of the. effects of Project Citizen upon the civic skills and. United States. Although it has been implemented in. dispositions of Taiwanese high school students using. various. culturally-sensitive. a statistically appropriate analytical model, to explore. revisions it may not be suitable for the Taiwanese. factors associated with its effectiveness, and to. context. Therefore, how to successfully adopt Project. document teachers’ perceptions of Project Citizen.. Citizen for use in Taiwan is an important object of. Specifically, the objectives were:. countries,. without. research.. 1.to assess the effect of Project Citizen on. Finally,. recent. research. on. the. civic. development of Taiwanese adolescents was mainly based on correlational studies or inappropriate. Taiwanese. senior. high. school. attainment of civic skills, 2.to assess the effect of Project Citizen on. analysis of a few small-scale quasi-experimental. Taiwanese. studies. As was stressed by Fraenkel and Wallen. attainment of civic dispositions,. (2000), correlational studies do not, in and of. students’. 3.to. senior. identify. high. school. personal-related,. students’. family-related,. themselves, establish cause-and-effect relationship;. school-related,. no cause-and-effect relationship can be inferred from. associated with the effect of Project Citizen on. correlational studies alone. Quasi-experiments, or. the civic skills of Taiwanese senior high school. true experiments, in contrast, are the best way to. students,. establish. cause-and-effect. relationship. between. 4.to. identify. and. society-related. personal-related,. factors. family-related,. variables; the causal inference, however, results only. school-related,. from the appropriate analysis of well-designed. associated with the effect of Project Citizen on. experiments or quasi-experiments. Although a few. the civic dispositions of Taiwanese senior high. quasi-experimental studies have been conducted in. school students, and. Taiwan to investigate specific civics instruction methods. (value-clarification,. issues-centered. approach, and cooperative learning) on the civic development of Taiwanese adolescents, these were small-scale studies, with sample sizes ranging from 154 to 163 students (Chang, Wu, & Liou,1999; Chen, 1995; Liao, Liu, & Doong, 1998). Furthermore, the findings of these studies were based on inappropriate. and. society-related. factors. 5.to document teachers’ perceptions of Project Citizen.. Definition of Terms Project Citizen is an issues-centered civic education program developed by the Center for Civic Education (CCE). The program is designed to encourage civic development among adolescent.

(4) 66. Show-Mann Liou. students through intensive study of a school or a. (Vontz, et al., 2000). Civic skills are operationally. community issue. In this study, Project Citizen was. defined as the mean score of the 11 items of 6-point. taught in 12 classes of Taiwan’s senior high school. Likert-type Adolescent Student Civic Skills Scale. students.. (ASCSS). Higher scores indicate more civic skills.. Civic Skills are those intellectual and participatory. Following are two examples of the ASCSS.. capacities that enable active involvement in civic life 1. 2.. I am skilled at using facts to analyze other people’s positions on problem. I am skilled at defending my positions on important issues of public policy.. Civic Dispositions are those traits of public and. dispositions.. private character that contribute to both the political. Political Interest, the degree to which one. efficacy of the individual and the common good of. monitors and is attentive to politics and the. society (Vontz, et al., 2000). Civic dispositions are. government, is important to maintaining a democratic. operationalized by summating the mean scores. society and is requisite to stimulating political. derived from the following four subscales of. participation (Vontz, et al., 2000). Political Interest is. Adolescent Student Civic Dispositions Scale. operationally defined as the mean score on a 9-item. (ASCDS): Political Interest, Propensity to Participate. 6-point Likert-type subscale of the ASCDS. Higher. in Future Political Life, Commitment to Rights and. scores indicate higher interest. Examples of items. Responsibilities of Citizenship, and Sense of Political. measuring Political Interest are listed below:. Efficacy. Higher scores imply more positive civic 1. I try to solve problems in my community. 2. I always gather information on problems in my community from newspapers. Propensity to Participate in Future Political. Likert-type subscale of the ASCDS. Higher scores. Life is the degree to which one believes s/he is likely. indicate higher propensity to participate in future. to participate in political life (for example, voting,. political life. Following are two examples of the. participating in civic groups, running for office) in. Propensity to Participate in Future Political Life. the future (Vontz, et al., 2000). It is operationally. subscale.. defined as the mean score on a 12-item 6-point If citizens write letters to their representatives, they can influence the decisions made in government. People can influence government by attending community meetings to talk with government 2. officials. 1.. Commitment to the Rights and Responsibilities. equality before the law) and the degree to which one. of Citizenship, according to Vontz et al. (2000), is the. is resolved to fulfill the obligations of citizenship (for. degree to which one is resolved to employ citizenship. example, paying taxes, obeying laws, participating in. rights (for example, the right to vote, free speech,. civic. life. to. promote. the. common. good)..

(5) 67. The Effect of Project Citizen. Commitment to Rights and Responsibilities of. the. rights. and. responsibilities. of. citizenship.. Citizenship is operationally defined as the mean score. Examples of items measuring Commitment to the. on an 11-item 6-point Likert-type subscale of the. Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship are listed. ASCDS. Higher scores indicate more committed to. below:. How likely do you think it will be that you will: 1. Work to get a political candidate elected. 2. Write a letter or make a phone call to express your opinion. Sense of Political Efficacy is an attitude which. the opinions and actions of people like him” (p.. is viewed by some to be necessary for the persistence. 16-17). Sense of Political Efficacy is operationally. of a democracy (Ehman, 1969a). According to. defined as the mean score on a 6-item 6-point. Ehman, political efficacy refers to “the feeling of a. Likert-type subscale of the ASCDS. Higher scores. person that he or she will have some influence on. indicate a greater sense of political efficacy.. governmental decision-making, that he is able to. Following are two examples of the Sense of Political. understand the political system, and that those. Efficacy subscale.. occupying political positions of power care about If citizens write letters to their representatives, they can influence the decisions made in government. People can influence government by attending community meetings to talk with government 2. officials. 1.. Classroom Climate, according to Ehman (1969a;. is operationally defined as the mean score on a 4-item. 1969b), is the extent to which students perceive that. 6-point Likert-type Classroom Climate Scale (CCS).. their social studies teachers dealt with social. Higher scores represent a more open climate.. problems, discussed both sides of issues, and took. Following are two examples of the CCS.. neutral positions on issues. The Classroom Climate When dealing with social issues, my teacher always presents both sides of the questions and allows both sides to be discussed. 2. When my teacher discusses social issues in class, I feel free to express my opinion.. 1.. Project Citizen Project Citizen is a civic education program for. program was originally developed by the Center for. middle school students that promotes competent and. Civic Education in 1992 under the name of American. 1. responsible participation in local governments. The 1. Youth Citizenship Portfolio Project (Tolo, 1998). In. Although Project Citizen was originally designed for use in the middle school, the use of the program has not been limited to middle school students. Project Citizen has been implemented with students as young as fifth grade and as old as twelfth grade (Tolo, 1998)..

(6) 68. Show-Mann Liou. the. 1995-96. school. year,. the. program. was. implemented as a pilot in 12 states under its present form as Project Citizen. Since then the domestic. become responsible participating citizens; ‧ develop effective and creative communication skills;. program has expanded to include schools in every. ‧develop more positive self-concepts and confidence. state as well as American Samoa, the District of. in exercising the rights and responsibilities of. Columbia,. 2001,. citizenship (Center for Civic Education, 2000).. approximately 5,000 teachers had used Project. Process and Content of Project Citizen. and. Guam.. As. of. May. Citizen with approximately 304,000 students (Center for Civic Education, 2003).. Project Citizen focuses on the role of state and local governments. The curriculum involves an entire. The widespread use of Project Citizen is not. class of students in a series of structured, cooperative. limited to the United States. As a part of Civitas: An. learning activities guided by their teachers and adult. International Civic Education Exchange Program. volunteers.. administered by the Center for Civic Education,. Working in cooperative teams, the class learns to. Project Citizen has been translated into various. interact with their government through a five-step. languages and implemented in more than thirty. process that includes:. countries throughout the world (Center for Civic. ‧Identifying a problem to study. Students begin by. Education, 2003).. identifying a problem in their community or school. Goals and Anticipated Outcomes of Project Citizen. that they think is important and determining which. Since the main purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of Project Citizen on the civic. level of government is most directly responsible for dealing with the problem. ‧ Gathering information.. Once the class has. skills and dispositions of Taiwanese senior high. decided upon the problem they want to study, they. school students, it is reasonable to ask: What are the. will gather and evaluate information about the. civic skills and dispositions that Project Citizen. problem from a variety of sources.. intends to develop? These questions need to be. ‧ Examining solutions.. Students then examine. addressed prior to a formal evaluation of Project. public policies that are currently in effect. They. Citizen.. also will examine policies being suggested by. According to its developers, the goal of Project Citizen is to motivate and empower adolescents to. other people. ‧Developing their own public policy.. Students. exercise their rights and to accept the responsibilities. develop a public policy that they think their. of democratic citizenship through the intensive study. government should adopt.. of a local community problem. Specifically, Project. ‧Developing an action plan.. Students develop a. Citizen is designed to help adolescents:. plan of action to show how they might influence. ‧learn how to monitor and influence public policy in. the appropriate government or governmental. their communities; ‧learn the public policy-making process; ‧develop concrete skills and the foundation needed. agency to adopt their proposed public policy (Center for Civic Education, 1998). At the conclusion of the program the class will.

(7) The Effect of Project Citizen. 69. use the materials they have gathered and written as. should select from the materials gathered those. they accomplished these tasks to develop a class. which best document or give evidence of their. portfolio. The portfolio is an organized collection of. research. Materials included in the document. information consisting of the class plan related to the. section should represent samples of the most. public policy issue they have chosen. According to. important and/or significant research they have. the student textbook, the portfolio consists of two. completed. Not all research should be included. sections: a display section and a documentation. (p.24).. section (Center for Civic Education, 1998).. 2. As we consider the goals and content of Project. ‧Display section. For this section the work of each of. Citizen and the problems facing Taiwan’s civic. the four groups should be placed on a separate. education, it seems that Project Citizen can be used. panel of the four-panel display. The display should. as a curriculum supplement to remedy some of the. be developed so it can be placed on a table, bulletin. weaknesses of Taiwan’s civic education and to help. board, or an easel. Materials to be displayed may. Taiwan prepare participatory citizens. Consequently,. include written statements, list of sources, charts,. this quasi-experimental study was conducted to. graphs, photographs, original art works, and so. evaluate the effects of Project Citizen on the civic. forth.. skills and dispositions of senior high school students. ‧Documentation section. Each of the four groups. in Taiwan.. Review of Related Research This research review focuses on the empirical. Tolo’s (1998) study provided the first comprehensive. findings concerning the impact of Project Citizen. look at Project Citizen and its implementation. upon the civic development of adolescents and. throughout the United States. He used surveys to. factors related to adolescent civic development. The. gather information from 381 students in 20 Project. review not only provides the researcher with the. Citizen classes. Tolo’s research showed that students. opportunity to learn the strengths and weaknesses of. like using Project Citizen and believe it helps them. the research design of each of the studies but also. learn valuable skills and information. Although. provides further justification for this research.. Tolo’s research provides insights into the perceived. Moreover, it provides the research-based context. effects of Project Citizen on students’ civic. within. development from the teachers and students who. which. the. results. are. presented. and. interpreted.. used the program, his study is not comparative. From. Research on the Effectiveness of Project Citizen. Tolo’s research, we have no idea whether the civic. Since its birth, few studies have been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of Project Citizen. 2. development of students who participated in Project Citizen was different from those who did not participate in Project Citizen.. For a detailed description of the requirements of each group’s section of the portfolio, see pages 27-32 in the student text..

(8) 70. Show-Mann Liou. Soule (2000) examined the effects of Project. statistically significant and positive improvement in. Citizen on the civic development of students in. civic knowledge and civic skills. In addition,. Bosnia and Herzegovina. In May 1999, 1,991. students participating in Project Citizen showed. students were surveyed; approximately half had. statistically significant and positive improvement in. participated in Project Citizen, half had not. Using a. propensity to participate in political and civic life.. matching comparison group, Soule found that. Compared to Tolo’s and Soule’s research, Vontz,. students participating in Project Citizen have a. Metcalf and Patrick’s study is better designed and. significant improvement in political skills and. conducted. However, the low reliabilities of some of. knowledge,. the subscales of the Civic Development Inventory. political. attitudes. conducive. to. participatory democracy, and values supportive of democracy. Soule’s research showed positive results. call the findings of their research into question3. Research by Liou (2002) was the first attempt to. for participating students across the three dimensions. employ. measured: political skills and knowledge, political. effectiveness. attitudes, and values supportive of democracy; the. conditions influencing its implementation, and to. conclusions of this study, however, need to be treated. explore the teacher’s and students’ perceptions of. with skepticism. The political skills and knowledge,. Project Citizen in a Midwestern township. A. political attitudes, and values of students in both. discovery was that the teacher and the students had. groups might have been different from each other. positive perceptions of Project Citizen. The result. before. group. confirmed the earlier findings of Tolo (1998).. participated in Project Citizen; however, the initial. Another significant finding was that Project Citizen,. difference between the treatment group and the. as suggested by previous research (Tolo, 1998; Soule,. comparison group was not taken into account.. 2000; Vontz, et al., 2000), has positive impacts on. the. students. of. the. treatment. qualitative of. approaches. Project. to. Citizen,. study to. the. identify. To avoid the weaknesses of the previous two. students’ civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions; it. studies and to improve the credibility of claims. also showed positive impact on some of the. regarding the effectiveness of Project Citizen, Vontz,. psychological traits such as self-efficacy and. Metcalf, and Patrick (2000) used a pre-test/post-test. self-regulation. Project Citizen was perceived by the. quasi-experimental design. Their study involved a. teacher and most students to be a good way to learn. total of 102 classes (51 treatment and 51 comparison). civic education; however, several factors such as. and 1,412 students (712 treatment and 700. teachers’ teaching loads, classroom management. comparison) in three political units: Indiana in the. difficulties and the need for teacher training have. United States, Latvia, and Lithuania. The results of. impeded its adoption. Although Liou’s study. their study revealed that Project Citizen positively. suggested the positive impact of Project Citizen, it. and significantly affects students’ civic development.. should be noted that her study was solely based on. Specifically, after accounting for pretest differences,. students of one gifted class. The generalizability of. students participating in Project Citizen showed a. her study, therefore, is limited.. 3. The Alpha coefficient for the Civic Knowledge subscale, the Commitment to Responsibilities, and the Political Interest subscale are .57, .51, and .51 respectively..

(9) 71. The Effect of Project Citizen. (Brody, 1994; Chang, Wu & Liou, 1999; Chen, 1995;. Research on Factors Related to Adolescent Civic Development. Liao, Liu & Doong, 1998; Patrick, 1972; Soule, 2000;. The second part of the review focuses on factors. Vontz et al., 2000) also make a difference in the. associated with the intended outcomes of Project. democratic attitudes, skills, and knowledge learned. Citizen. Most of the studies concerning the influence. by students.. of family factors upon the civic development of. Increasingly, mass media has become a more. adolescents suggested that parents have a positive. crucial societal factor, occupying, at present, a. impact on their children’s civic development (Huang,. significant portion of children’s or adolescents’. 1994; National Assessment of Educational Progress,. attention. Therefore, mass media is becoming. 1999; Niemi & Chapman,1999; Niemi & Junn, 1998;. increasingly important in the civic development of. Torney, Oppenheim, & Farnen, 1975; Torney-Purta. adolescents (Chaffee & Becker, 1975; Chaffee,. et al, 2001). However, few parents could entirely. Jackson-Beeck, Durall, & Wilson, 1977; Connell,. determine the political orientation of their children. 1971; Dominick, 1972; Garramone & Atkin, 1986;. (Cheng, 2001; Chen, 1994; Weissberg, 1974).. Porter, 1978; Wang, 2000).. Therefore, although the family plays an important. The importance of each of these factors on the. role in the process of adolescents’ political. civic development of students has been identified in. socialization,. predict. the research literature; however, the findings of these. adolescent civic development simply based on family. studies have sometimes been conflicting. Vontz et. experiences.. al’s study (2000) investigated the influence of most. it. seems. insufficient. to. The school’s function is both a primary and. of the factors on the effectiveness of Project Citizen.. secondary agent of political socialization (Chen,. However, because of the small usable sample size. 1993). In schools, there are some manifest and. (usable n = 192) and problems of accuracy in. systematic programs for teaching specified political. measuring some variables, none of the factors was. information, attitudes, and values. In contrast, some. found to be significant. Larger sample size and. of the political messages are latent, or transmitted in. appropriate measures are necessary to establish valid. unintended ways (Ehman, 1969a; Wasburn, 1986).. conclusions concerning the program’s efficacy in. The school-related variables that influence students’. civic education.. civic development include grade level, classroom. Additionally, the emphasis of most studies in. climate (Baughman, 1975; Blankshenship, 1990;. Taiwan was on the relative impact of selected factors. Ehman, 1969a; 1969b; 1970; 1980; Hahn, 1998;. within one category upon the civic development of. Hahn & Tocci, 1990; Harwood, 1991; Torney-Purta. adolescents. Influences upon civic development,. et al., 2001), participation in school governance and. however, do not come exclusively from variables. experience of extracurricular activities (Beck, 1977;. within. Chang, 1993; Niemi & Chapman, 1999; Niemi &. considerable studies have been conducted to examine. Junn,. the. 1998).. Selected. teachers’ characteristics. one. impact. category. of. these. In. the. factors. United from. a. States more. (Chang, 1993; Huang, 1997; NAEP, 1999; Sheen, Lu. comprehensive perspective; few studies of this type,. & Chou, 1998; 1999) and formal civic instruction. however, have been undertaken in Taiwan. This study,.

(10) 72. Show-Mann Liou. with. its. focus. on. the. effectiveness. of. an. available at home4, (5) parent education, (6) students’. issues-centered civic curriculum, Project Citizen,. frequency. of. extracurricular. participation,. (7). also sought to investigate, in a more comprehensive. teacher’s education, (8) professional development. manner, the factors related to the effectiveness of the. (participation in Project Citizen workshop), (9). Project Citizen program. The following variables. teaching experience, (10) classroom climate, and (11). were included: (1) gender, (2) grade level, (3). exposure to news of various media resources.. confidence in attending college, (4) literacy resource. Methodology This. research. non-random,. employed. pretest-posttest. a. hierarchical. comparison. group. design. The design is hierarchical because each class. Citizen, and to explore possible explanations for the quantitative data.. Participants. appeared with only one level of the treatment (either. Participating schools and classes. Originally,. in Project Citizen in addition to regular Civics or. 13 schools with two classes from each school. Three Principles of the People instruction, or in. participated in the study. However, the experimental. regular Civics or Three Principles of the People. class in one school chose to withdraw from the study. instruction). Twelve Taiwanese senior high school. before the students completed the posttest. All. teachers each with two classes of students, one. students of the experimental class and students in the. experimental and one comparison, participated in this. comparison class from the school were excluded. study.. from the final analysis. Therefore the final sample. Quantitative and qualitative methods were. consisted of the 952 participants for which there were. combined to address the research questions.. complete pretest and posttest data on all variables;. According to Merriam (1998), whereas the. analysis was based on data from students in 24. experimental design is more appropriate for a. classes of 12 senior high schools across the nation.. cause-and-effect investigation, “how” and “why”. Participating teachers. All the participating. questions are best answered by qualitative inquiry. In. teachers are female and civics majors and their. this study quantitative methods were used to evaluate. teaching experience ranges from five years to 21. the effect of Project Citizen on the civic skills and. years. Most of the participating teachers taught at. dispositions of Taiwanese senior high school students. junior high schools several years before they taught. and the factors associated with its effectiveness.. at senior high schools. Currently, all the teachers. Qualitative methods were used to provide in-depth. teach both Civics and Three Principles of the People.. descriptions of teachers’ perceptions of Project Citizen, to better understand the process of Project. 4. Participating students.. At first 1,108 students. nested within 26 classes participated in the study.. Literacy resource available at home adopts the IEA’s definition (Torney, et al, 1975; Torney-Purta, et al, 1999). It refers to the number of books available at home, but not counting newspapers, magazines or books for school..

(11) 73. The Effect of Project Citizen. Forty-two students of one experimental class chose to. the effect of Project Citizen upon the civic skills and. withdraw from the study before they completed the. dispositions of Taiwanese senior high school students,. instruction of Project Citizen; therefore 42 students in. the factors influencing its effectiveness, and teachers’. this class and 42 students in its corresponding. perceptions of Project Citizen. The procedures. comparison class were withdrawn from the study.. employed are described below.. Additionally, of the remaining 1,024 students, 21. Preparation of Teaching Materials.. Although. students did not take the pretest and 19 students did. the Project Citizen student text and teacher’s guide. not take the posttest; therefore, they were excluded. had been translated into Simplified Chinese, for. from the final analysis. Moreover, 32 students had. adoption in Taiwan some idioms and phrases required. missing data. After reviewing these 32 students’. modification. Starting in December 2000, the. original questionnaires, it was found that all the 32. researcher began to revise the Taiwanese edition of. students did not respond to at least one page of the. Project Citizen student text and teacher’s guide. The. questionnaire. This most likely resulted from the. revised student text and teacher’s guide were given to. double-sided printing of the questionnaires; the. two senior high school teachers for reviewing, and. students might not have noticed the reverse page, and. revisions were made based on their suggestions. In. therefore did not respond to the full questionnaire.. addition, the Complex Chinese edition of the Project. According to Little and Rubin (1987), missing data of. Citizen student text was read by two Taiwanese. this kind should be considered as data that are. senior high school students to ensure its language. missing completely at random (MCAR). Since there. appropriateness.. were only 32 cases having missing data (less than 3%). Selection and Training of Teachers.. Based on. and they were considered MCAR, the 32 cases were. the awareness that teachers play critical roles in any. also excluded from the final analyses. Therefore, the. education enterprise; the researcher conducted a. final usable sample of this study consisted of 952. 3-day workshop on Project Citizen for the teachers. students.. who expressed interest to learn and to teach Project. Independent sample chi-square tests were. Citizen. The 3-day workshop was intended to provide. performed to examine whether selected categorical. participants with the methods and content necessary. background. for implementing Project Citizen.5. factors. of. the. experimental. and. comparison groups were different. The result was. Obtaining. Consents. from. Participants.. presented in Table 1. Furthermore, independent. Before the experiment all participants were informed. sample t-tests were conducted to test the differences. about the purpose of this study. Informed consent. in baseline civic skills and dispositions between the. forms were given to the teachers as well as to the. experimental and comparison groups (see Table 2).. parents of the participating students. They were. Research Procedures. assured that their participation would be voluntary,. The study combined both quantitative and qualitative data to form an in-depth understanding of. and that, if they decide to participate, they could withdraw from the study at any time..

(12) 74. Show-Mann Liou. Table 1. Selected characteristics of the participating students (N=952) Characteristic. Experiment. Comparison. Total. χ2. p. Male Female Home literacy resource None 1-10 11-50 51-100 101-200 More than 200 Confidence in attending college Weak (1-4) Average (5-7) Strong (8-10) Mother’s education No schooling Elementary school Junior high school Senior high school Junior college College Graduate school Father’s education No schooling Elementary school Junior high school Senior high school Junior college College Graduate school Extracurricular participation 4 or more days a week 1 to 3 days a week A few times each month Never or almost never Mass Media Exposure low (1-2 times a week) average (3-5 times a week) high (6-7 times a week). 221(45.9) 260(54.1). 252(53.5) 219(46.5). 473(49.7) 479(50.3). 5.44. .02. 2(0.4) 27(5.6) 130(27.0) 111(23.1) 77(16.0) 134(27.9). 1(0.2) 32(6.8) 105(22.3) 104(22.1) 69(14.6) 160(34.0). 3(0.3) 59(6.2) 235(24.7) 215(22.6) 146(15.3) 294(30.9). 6.28. .28. 35(7.3) 258(53.6) 188(39.1). 45(9.6) 224(47.6) 202(42.9). 80(8.4) 482(50.6) 390(41.0). 4.05. .13. 2(0.4) 67(13.9) 94(19.5) 203(42.2) 40(8.3) 67(13.9) 8(1.7). 2(0.4) 57(12.1) 75(15.9) 193(41.0) 54(11.5) 82(17.4) 8(1.7). 4(0.4) 124(13.0) 169(17.8) 396(41.6) 94(9.9) 149(15.7) 16(1.7). 6.69. .35. 2(0.4) 42(8.7) 82(17.0) 175(36.4) 74(15.4) 84(17.5) 22(4.6). 4(0.8) 37(7.9) 71(15.1) 157(33.3) 69(14.6) 103(21.9) 30(6.4). 6(0.6) 79(8.3) 153(16.1) 332(34.9) 143(15.0) 187(19.6) 52(5.5). 5.98. .43. 55(11.4) 139(28.9) 155(32.2) 132(27.4). 53(11.3) 132(28.0) 146(31.0) 140(29.7). 108(11.3) 271(28.5) 301(31.6) 272(28.6). .62. .89. 125(26.0) 305(63.4) 51(10.6). 102(21.7) 317(67.3) 52(11.0). 227(23.8) 622(65.3) 103(10.8). 2.47. .29. Gender. Note: percentages are listed in parentheses.

(13) 75. The Effect of Project Citizen. Table 2. t-test of pretest civic skills and the four dimensions of civic dispositions Variable. Civic skills Political interest Propensity to participate Commitment to rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Sense of political efficacy. Group. Mean. SD. Experiment Comparison Experiment Comparison Experiment Comparison Experiment Comparison Experiment Comparison. 3.46 3.60 3.40 3.55 3.60 3.67 5.22 5.19 4.48 4.41. .86 .80 .87 .86 .78 .72 .51 .53 .84 .81. t (df = 951). p. -2.631. .009**. -2.713. .007**. -1.485. .138. 1.045. .296. 1.279. .201. **p < .01 (2-tailed). Based on. pretest, the experimental students began to receive. the awareness that teachers play critical roles in any. issues-based instruction using Project Citizen as an. education enterprise; the researcher conducted a. adjunct to traditional instruction of Civics or Three. 3-day workshop on Project Citizen for the teachers. Principles of the People. In contrast to the. who expressed interest to learn and to teach Project. experimental students, the comparison students. Citizen. The 3-day workshop was intended to provide. received traditional, discipline-based instruction of. participants with the methods and content necessary. Civics or Three Principles of the People based upon. Selection and Training of Teachers.. for implementing Project Citizen.. 5. the hierarchical model of knowledge acquisition. Participants.. Because of the large sample size and geographic. Before the experiment all participants were informed. distribution of the participating classes, direct. about the purpose of this study. Informed consent. observation of these classes was difficult to conduct.. forms were given to the teachers as well as to the. To ensure that the participating teachers followed. parents of the participating students. They were. important guidelines and procedures as specified in. assured that their participation would be voluntary,. Project Citizen text, a checklist was developed and. and that, if they decide to participate, they could. given to each participating teacher. The participating. withdraw from the study at any time.. teachers were asked to record the progress of the. Obtaining. Consents. from. The pretest was administered to all. class at each stage of the implementation process, in. students before the experimental classes’ students. addition to any changes in instruction. They were. engaged. was. also asked to write down all of their questions and. administered during regular class time by the. concerns. To ensure that problems and difficulties. participating teachers. On average, the pretest took 15. were resolved promptly, regular communications. to 20 minutes to complete.. with the participating teachers were conducted via. Pretest. in. Project. Citizen;. Intervention Stage.. the. pretest. After the students in both. the experimental and comparison classes took the 5. The 3-day workshop agenda is available from the author.. various methods such as mail, emails, and phone calls..

(14) 76. Show-Mann Liou. Information gathered from the mail, emails,. in person. Each teacher interview lasted for about 40. phone calls and the checklists, as well as the teacher. to 70 minutes. All of the interviews were audio-taped. interviews (which will be described below) were. with the interviewees’ permission.. taken as supporting evidence that the participating. Instrumentation. teachers followed the important guidelines specified. Pretest and posttest questionnaire.. Based on. in the Project Citizen text and the procedures of this. the work of previous researchers (Ehman, 1969b;. study.. Vontz et al, 2000; Harwood, 1991; Angell, 1990;. Posttest.. The posttest (same as pretest) was. Verba, Schlozman & Brady, 1995; Jennings & Niemi,. administered to all students immediately following. 1974), a Likert-type questionnaire with scales. the completion of the class portfolios by the. measuring students’ civic skills and dispositions was. experimental. took. constructed and was administered6. The questionnaire. approximately 15 to 20 minutes for completion and. was assessed for content validity, face validity, and. was administered during regular class time by the. construct validity using data from the pilot-, pre- and. participating teachers.. post-tests.7 Reliability tests conducted from the pilot-,. classes.. Again,. the. test. Teacher Interviews. Semi-structured interviews. pre- and post-tests produced a Cronbach’s α of .76. were conducted with the 13 participating teachers. and greater for all scales. Table 3 listed the reliability. between December 22, 2001 and February 4, 2002.. coefficients for pretest and posttest.. The interviews with twelve teachers were conducted Table 3. Reliability coefficients for pretest and posttest. Scale Civic skills Civic dispositions Political interest Political efficacy Propensity to participate Commitment to rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Alpha Pretest .91 (11) .87 (38) .85 (9) .76 ( 6) .81 (12). Posttest .92 (11) .88 (38) .83 ( 9) .78 ( 6) .83 (12). .80 (11). .86 (11). Note: Item numbers are listed in parentheses.. 6. 7. Initially, this study was intended to evaluate the effect of Project Citizen on the civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions of Taiwanese high school students. However, the reliability for Test of Civic Knowledge was only .18, which is unacceptably low. Homogeneity of the sample (all are public high school students) and the corresponding ceiling effect (the average score of the pilot sample is 88.25 out of a possible 100, and 68% of the scores ranged from 82 to 95) may have contributed to the low reliability of the Civic Knowledge Scale. Because the reliability of Civic Knowledge Scale was incredibly low and Taiwanese high school students have relatively good understanding of civic knowledge, after discussion with the committee members, civic knowledge was dropped from this study. For the pilot data, Principal Axis Factor Analysis using Squared Multiple Correlation (SMC) as the initial commonality estimate was run through SAS version 8 (SAS Institute Inc., 1999) in the Windows 2000 environment. Four factors were extracted. To confirm the construct validity of ASCDS, data from pretests and posttests from the 952 students were also used to perform factor analysis. The results of factor analyses are available from the author..

(15) 77. The Effect of Project Citizen. Interview. Protocol.. The. interview. protocol. conditions,. therefore,. Hierarchical. Analysis. of. consisted of four parts. The first part of the interview. Covariance (Hierarchical ANCOVA) was used to test. was designed to provide a general understanding of. Project Citizen’s effect on senior high school. the schools where Project Citizen was implemented.. students’ civic skills and dispositions. The use of. The second part was for the purpose of establishing. hierarchical design enables the researcher to isolate. the context of the participating teachers’ experience.. the nuisance variable of classes, which might affect. The third part of the interview focused on. students’ civic skills and dispositions. It also. understanding the characteristics of the sampled. incorporates the inherent hierarchical structure of the. classes and students. The final part of the interview. data into the analysis. Finally, standard multiple. encouraged the participating teachers to reflect on the. regression analysis (SMR) was conducted to explore. meaning of their experiences teaching Project. factors associated with the effect of Project Citizen in. Citizen.. Taiwan. All hypotheses were one-tailed and were tested at an alpha level of .05.. Data Analysis The data collected from this study were. Qualitative. Data. Analysis.. All. teacher. categorized as quantitative and qualitative and were. interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and. subjected to different treatments. The quantitative. translated, if necessary, into English. The interview. data gathered using the questionnaires were analyzed. transcripts were carefully examined according to four. using SAS version 8 (SAS Institute Inc., 1999) and. prescribed themes pertaining to the implementation. SPSS version 10 (SPSS Inc., 1999) in the Windows. of Project Citizen: 1) teachers’ attitudes toward. 2000 environment. The data from the teacher. Project Citizen, 2) Project Citizen’s advantages to. interviews were interpreted qualitatively according to. students, 3) challenges of implementing Project. the four prescribed themes.. Citizen, and 4) suggestions for adopting Project. Quantitative Data Analysis.. In this study. Citizen in Taiwan.. intact classes were nested in the experimental. Findings Effect of Project Citizen on Adolescent Civic Skills and Dispositions. outperformed the comparison group. With regard to the four dimensions of civic dispositions, students in. The results of Project Citizen’s effect on the. the experimental group significantly outperformed. civic skills and dispositions of Taiwanese senior high. the comparison group in political interest and. school students are summarized in Table 4.. commitment to the rights and responsibilities of. Statistically, results of the Hierarchical ANCOVA. citizenship. However, no significant differences were. showed that, after adjusting for the difference of civic. found in the students’ propensity to participate in. skills pretest, the experimental group significantly. future political life and sense of political efficacy..

(16) 78. Show-Mann Liou. Table 4. Hierarchical ANCOVA summary for civic skills and dispositions subscales. Source Civic skills Group Class (Group) Error Political interest Group Class (Group) Error Propensity to participate Group Class (Group) Error Commitment to rights and responsibilities of citizenship Group Class (Group) Error Sense of political efficacy Group Class (Group) Error. SS. df. MS. F. p. 7.08 15.22 366.41. 1 22 927. 7.08 .69 .40. 10.23 1.75. .0021** .0099. 1.81 10.75 358.60. 1 22 927. 1.81 .49 .39. 3.71 1.26. .0335* .0933. 1.13 9.75 247.51. 1 22 927. 1.13 .44 .27. 2.55 1.66. NS a .0144. 4.85 17.79 257.29. 1 22 927. 4.85 .81 .28. 6.01 2.91. .0113* < .0001. .99 17.29 458.65. 1 22 927. .99 .79 .49. 1.27 1.59. NS a .0209. * p < .05, **p < .01 (one-tailed) a. Not significant at α = .05.. To evaluate the practical significance of Project. level, confidence in attending college, home literacy. Citizen, the most popular measure of strength of. resource,. association for fixed treatment effects, omega. extracurricular participation, teachers’ participation in. squared (ω2), was calculated. Practically, Project. the Project Citizen workshop, teachers’ education,. Citizen. teaching experience, classroom climate, and students’. had. large. associations. with. students’. perceived civic skills (ω = .42), political interest 2. (ω = 2. .17),. and. commitment. to. rights. and. parent. education,. frequency. of. exposure to news of various mass media resources. Civic Skills. Table 5 displays the unstandarized. responsibilities of citizenship (ω = .28) .. regression coefficients (b) and intercept, standard. Factors associated with Project Citizen’s effect. error (SE), the standarardized regression coefficients. 2. 8. (β), the squared semipartial correlations (sri2) and R2,. Two separate SMR using standardized residuals. and adjusted R2. As shown, R for regression was. in civic skills and another in civic dispositions as the. significantly different from zero. F (11, 469) = 4.552,. dependent. p < .01.. variables. were. performed.. The. independent variables were students’ gender, grade 8. According to Cohen (1988), the following guidelines are suggested for interpreting strength of association: ω2 = .010 is a small association, ω2 = .059 is a medium association, and ω2 = .138 or larger is a large association..

(17) 79. The Effect of Project Citizen. Table 5. Standard multiple regression of factors associated with the effect of Project Citizen on the civic skills of Taiwanese senior high school students b SE β -2.045 .509 .075 .097 .038 .090 .109 .044 .005 .021 .012 .011 .039 .014 -.009 .043 -.010 -.033 .046 -.033 .034 .064 .028 .083 .072 .071 .022 .009 .109 .190 .063 .139 .160 .033 .229 R = .311 R2 = .096 adjusted R2 = .075 F (11, 469) = 4.552, p < .01. Variable Intercept Gender Grade level Confidence in attending college Home literacy resource Parent education Extracurricular participation Teacher training of PC Teacher education Teaching experience Classroom climate Mass media exposure Model. sri2 <.001 .002 .006 .001 <.001 .001 <.001 <.001 .014 .026 .045. t -4.016 .778 .828 .248 .277 -.205 -.730 .531 1.150 2.366 3.029 4.845. p <.001 .437 .408 .804 .782 .837 .466 .596 .251 .018* .003** <.001**. * p < .05, ** p < .01 (two-tailed). Only three of the predictor variables contributed. correlations (sri2) and R2, and adjusted R2. As shown,. significantly to predictions of the effect of Project. R for regression was significantly different from zero.. Citizen on the civic skills of Taiwanese senior high. F (11, 469) = 4.905, p < .01.. 2. school students, teacher’s teaching experience (sri = 2. 1.4%), classroom climate (sri = 2.6%), and mass 2. Only three of the predictor variables contributed significantly to predictions of the effect of Project. media exposure (sri = 4.5%). The 11 predictor. Citizen on the civic dispositions of Taiwanese senior. variables in combination contributed to another 1.1%. high. school. students, students’ confidence. in. 2. in shared variability. Altogether, 9.6% (7.5% adjusted). attending college (sri = 2.2%), classroom climate. of the variability in effect of Project Citizen was. (sri2 = 4.1%), and mass media exposure (sri2 = 2.5%).. predicted by knowing scores from these 11 predictor. The 11 predictor variables in combination contributed. variables.. to another 1.5% in shared variability. Altogether,. Civic. Dispositions.Table. unstandarized. regression. 6. displays. coefficients. (b). the. 10.3% (8.2% adjusted) of the variability in effect of. and. Project Citizen was predicted by knowing scores. intercept, standard error (SE), the standarardized regression coefficients (β), the squared semipartial. from these 11 predictor variables..

(18) 80. Show-Mann Liou. Table 6. Standard multiple regression of factors associated with the effect of Project Citizen on the civic dispositions of Taiwanese senior high school students. Variable Intercept Gender Grade level Confidence in attending college Home literacy resource Parent education Extracurricular participation Teacher training of PC Teacher education Teaching experience Classroom climate Mass media exposure Model. b SE β -1.600 .507 .146 .097 .073 .082 .109 .040 .046 .021 .105 -.042 .039 -.055 -.043 .042 -.051 -.076 .046 -.075 -.023 .064 -.019 .035 .072 .030 -.007 .009 -.036 .259 .062 .190 .119 .033 .169 R = .321 R2 = .103 adjusted R2 = .082 F (11, 469) = 4.905, p < .01. sri2 <.001 .002 .022 .001 <.001 .007 .003 <.001 <.001 .041 .025. t -3.153 1.510 .756 2.188 -1.094 -1.011 -1.688 -.361 .487 -.795 4.148 3.598. p .002 .132 .450 .029* .275 .313 .096 .718 .627 .427 <.001** <.001**. * p < .05, ** p < .01 (two-tailed) pose significant challenges to implementing Project. Analysis of Qualitative Data Qualitative analyses of the teacher interviews. Citizen. in. the. Taiwanese. context.. Valuable. revealed that all participating teachers responded. suggestions to address these challenges, such as. positively toward Project Citizen and showed interest. correlating Project Citizen with current curriculum. in implementing it again in their classes. The results. frameworks and simplifying the procedures and. also suggested, however, that time constraints,. materials, were provided by the participating. students’ abilities, and the pressure from the Joint. teachers.. College Entrance Examination, among other factors,. Discussion Effect of Project Citizen on Adolescent Civic Skills and Dispositions. Principles of the People instruction or traditional Civics or Three Principles of the People instruction. The quantitative and qualitative analyses of this. alone. Project Citizen in conjunction with traditional. study indicted that there was a difference in the civic. Civics or Three Principles of the People instruction is. skills of Taiwanese senior high school students. more effective than traditional Civics and Three. according to the treatment of Project Citizen in. Principles of the People instruction in promoting. conjunction. students’ civic skills. As indicated previously, the. with. traditional. Civics. or. Three.

(19) 81. The Effect of Project Citizen. intended outcome of Project Citizen is on the. expectation, confirmed by the results of this study,. development of those civic skills and dispositions. therefore, validates the findings of Liou (2002), Soule. that enable and motivate responsible political. (2000) and Tolo (1998).. participation in civic life. Students participating in. In contrast to the significant findings of political. Project Citizen are encouraged to practice a variety of. interest. intellectual and participatory skills through their. responsibilities of citizenship, a significant positive. participation in the program. The results of this study. effect of Project Citizen was not found in the. support the intended outcome of Project Citizen.. following two dimensions: propensity to participate. Through the process of identifying a school or. in future political life and sense of political efficacy.. community issue, evaluating possible solutions,. This result is inconsistent with previous research. selecting. and. (Liou, 2002; Soule, 2000; Tolo, 1998) that suggested. developing an action plan, the intellectual and. Project Citizen helps students to foster a sense of. participatory skills of students are enhanced. As such,. competence and efficacy. Although examination of. this study confirms Soule’s (2000) and Tolo’s (1998). the descriptive data from this study indicates that the. survey studies, the recent quasi-experimental study. experimental. by Vontz et al. (2000), and Liou’s (2002) case study.. comparison students in the two dimensions of civic. As mentioned in the literature review, these studies. dispositions, the difference is not great enough to be. concluded that Project Citizen does have a positive. considered significant. Several reasons might account. effect on the civic skills, both intellectual and. for the insignificant result. It is possible that one. participatory, of adolescent students. This study lends. semester is too brief a period of time to greatly alter. support for this claim.. the attitudes and beliefs into which students have. and. defending. a. class. policy,. and. commitment. students. to. scored. the. higher. rights. than. and. the. In addition to the civic skills of Taiwanese. been socialized over a much longer period of time. It. senior high school students, Project Citizen was also. is also possible that the priority placed upon passing. found to have a significant positive effect on two. the college entrance examination contributed to this. dimensions of the civic dispositions of Taiwanese. finding of insignificant effect. As noted earlier, the. senior high school students: political interest and. vast majority of Taiwanese feel that a young person’s. commitment to the rights and responsibilities of. first priority in life is to achieve a high score on the. citizenship. As mentioned previously, the goal of. Joint College Entrance Examination (JCEE) and. Project Citizen is to motivate and empower. nothing is more important than being admitted to a. adolescents to exercise their rights and to accept the. good college. Accordingly, students are not motivated. responsibilities of democratic citizenship through the. to participate in political life. Another possible. intensive study of a local community problem that is. explanation was revealed from the teacher interviews.. relevant and is of concern to them. Therefore, the. According to most participating teachers, students’. significant positive effect of Project Citizen on the. thinking abilities and participation skills are rarely. political interest and commitment to rights and. exercised and challenged; therefore, they are not. responsibility of citizenship of Taiwanese senior high. confident in their ability to influence public policy.. school students is expected. This instructional. Although by participating in Project Citizen students.

(20) 82. Show-Mann Liou. are offered the opportunity to practice the abilities. civic instruction (Chen, 1995).. and skills that are conducive to civic participation,. Teacher’s teaching experience appeared to be. they still have inadequate confidence in their ability. statistically significant but less influential on Project. to make a difference in political affairs.. Citizen’s effect on senior high school students’ civic. Factors associated with Project Citizen’s Effect. skills. The result of this study lends support to previous studies that the more experienced teachers. Classroom climate is one of the two significant. help their students to achieve better results (Huang,. variables that were positively related to the effect of. 1997) but the relationship was not very clear for. Project Citizen on both the civic skills and. students in higher grades (NAEP, 1999). In this study. dispositions of Taiwanese senior high school students.. student’s confidence in attending college was found. The findings of this study confirm that of most. to be related to Project Citizen’s effect on the civic. studies. between. dispositions of Taiwanese senior high school students.. classroom climate and civic development: the more. It is possible that students who have less confidence. open the classroom climate, the better the civic. of attending college are students who are struggling. development of the students (Baughman, 1975;. and need to study even harder to ensure that they will. Blankshenship, 1990; Ehman, 1969a, 1969b, 1970,. be admitted to college. Consequently, as compared. 1980; Hahn & Tocci, 1990; Harwood, 1991;. with students of stronger confidence in attending. Torney-Purta, et al., 2001). The highly interactive. college, students of less confidence are less attentive. nature of the learning processes involved in Project. and committed to political affairs around them.. concerning. the. relationship. Citizen suggests that the program is well-suited to. The remaining variables, students’ gender, grade. fostering civic development through the creation of a. level, confidence in attending college (significant. more open classroom climate.. predictor only for civic dispositions), home literacy. Another significant predictor variable to the. resource,. parent. education,. participation,. frequency. effect of Project Citizen on the civic skills and. extracurricular. dispositions is students’ exposure to news of various. participation in the Project Citizen workshop,. media resources. Using a joint index of exposure to. teachers’. news of various media resources, the result of this. (significant predictor only for civic skills), were not. study supports most of the research findings in the. significantly related to the effect of Project Citizen.. United States indicating that higher exposure to news. Previous studies have suggested that these factors. is associated with advanced civic development. seemed to be related to adolescent civic development.. (Chaffee & Becker, 1975, Chaffee, Jackson-Beeck,. However, these variables were not found to be related. Durall, & Wilson, 1977; Connell, 1971; Dominick,. to the effect of Project Citizen. These factors might,. 1972; Garramone & Atkin, 1986, Porter, 1978). The. indeed, be related to adolescent civic development to. joint index is also more reliable and powerful than a. varying degrees. However, in this study, standardized. single index to detect the positive relationship. residual gain scores were used as the criterion. between media exposure and adolescent civic. variable, and it is possible that the impact of these. development (Cheng, 2001) or the effect of a specific. factors was not large enough to suggest significant. education,. and. and. of. teaching. teachers’ experience.

(21) 83. The Effect of Project Citizen. relationships, or that the influence of these factors. In order to address these challenges, valuable. was ruled out.. suggestions were provided by the participating. Teacher’s Perceptions of Project Citizen. teachers. Their suggestions included: 1) simplifying. Because of the detailed materials that Project. the procedures and materials, 2) revising the. Citizen provides and the advantages that Project. translation of Project Citizen, 3) providing a list of. Citizen brings to the students, teachers responded. suggested Project Citizen topics, 4) providing. positively toward Project Citizen. However, these. concrete sample portfolios, 5) correlating Project. teachers faced challenges such as time constraints,. Citizen with current curriculum frameworks, 6). students’ inadequate abilities, pressure from the JCEE,. initiating the Project Citizen portfolio competition, 7). curriculum integration, topic selections, uncertainty. offering Project Citizen teacher training, 8) providing. of the implementation schedule of Project Citizen,. a suggested syllabus and schedule, 9) developing a. lack of sample portfolios, and limited resources. manual. available to their students. Such difficulties might. establishing an advisory network. Because Project. limit their motivation to include Project Citizen in. Citizen is a new curriculum in Taiwan, these. their class. Some of the challenges such as. recommendations will help to familiarize teachers. curriculum. and. and students with the features of the new program. In. uncertainty of the implementation schedule of Project. addition, given the stress from the JCEE and the. Citizen were also found in Tolo’s (1998) study of. demands upon teachers and students, some of these. Project Citizen’s users in the United States. Other. recommendations address the unique culture of high. obstacles. students’. school life in Taiwan. These suggestions are critical. inadequate abilities, external pressure from the JCEE,. to the successful adoption of Project Citizen in. and limited resources available to the students may. Taiwan.. integration,. such. as. topic. time. selections,. constraints,. for. inexperienced. teachers,. and. 10). be unique to the Taiwanese context.. Implications for Civic Education Traditionally, in school, we are taught to view. and conflicts is not “merely” more relevant and. society as stable and basically peaceful. In reality, our. realistic to the students than is the conventional. society is dynamic, and filled with tensions and. curriculum; to the extent that it corresponds more. contradictions. Such turmoil and contradictions are. closely to the reality the student experiences beyond. reflected in the experiences of youth life beyond the. the realm of school, an issues-centered civic. school walls. Increasingly, awareness of these. curriculum better equips the student to engage the. tensions in social life is being reflected within the. dilemmas of public life as an effective democratic. practices of the school, but the school continues to. citizen.. lag behind society. A civic curriculum oriented. Both the quantitative and qualitative analyses of. toward social change and the resolution of tensions. data support previous research that Project Citizen.

(22) 84. Show-Mann Liou. has positive impacts upon the civic development of. civic skills and dispositions. Implementing Project. Taiwanese senior high school students. The finding. Citizen in the Taiwanese senior high school, this. that Project Citizen enhanced senior high school. study’s findings suggest, can contribute significantly. students’ civic skills and dispositions suggests the. to this effort to more closely align the practices of the. positive. Civics classroom with the imperatives of civic life in. implications. of. the. issues-centered. curriculum. For those civic educators who accept the. a modern democratic society.. and. In addition to support for Project Citizen, an. responsible participation should be the major goal of. issues-centered curriculum, this study provides a. civic education, this research offers support for the. basis for comparison of different cultures. By. hope that their goal is attainable. Further, this study. incorporating the perspectives of the participating. suggests directions in which civic curriculum reform. teachers, this study points out the need to take into. might move to promote the citizenship ideal.. account the potential cultural variations in the. assumption. that. teaching. for. informed. An implication valuable for adopting Project. adoption of curricular programs. The format and. Citizen in Taiwan follows from the findings that. process of implementing Project Citizen as conducted. classroom climate and students’ exposure to news of. in the United States, these teachers indicated, are not. various media resources are positively related to the. entirely applicable to the Taiwanese high school. effect of Project Citizen on the civic skills and. context. Although various studies have shown many. dispositions of Taiwanese senior high school students.. positive impacts of Project Citizen on adolescent. This is not to suggest that these are the only factors. civic development, this does not mean that Project. that are related to Project Citizen’s effect, but rather. Citizen can be adopted without any difficulties in. to lend support to the findings of previous research. Taiwan. In fact, in addition to some challenges. studies. When students perceive their classroom to be. experienced universally in using Project Citizen. an open environment, one in which students are. (such as curriculum integration, topic selections,. encouraged to explore and express differing views. uncertainty of the implementation schedule of Project. related to public issues, civics instruction has a. Citizen), Taiwan’s teachers encountered even more. beneficial influence upon students’ civic skills and. challenges when implementing Project Citizen: time. dispositions. This being the case, civic educators. constraints, students’ inadequate abilities, pressure. should examine classroom climate and instructional. from the JCEE, and limited resources available to the. practices in an effort to identify those aspects that. students. Some of these challenges may be unique to. hold potential for incorporating the modes of inquiry. the Taiwanese context; at the very least, to ensure an. and discourse suited to democratic life. In addition,. effective adaptation of Project Citizen in Taiwan, the. when students are exposed to the news coverage from. cultural contingencies involved in these factors. various media sources, they are able to examine. should be taken into account.. diverse views concerning substantive public issues. This, in turn, may have a favorable impact upon their.

(23) The Effect of Project Citizen. 85. References Angell, A. V. (1990). Civic attitudes of Japanese middle school students: Results of a pilot study. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council for the Social Studies. (Anaheim, CA, November 1990). (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 374 029). Baughman, J. E. (1975). An investigation of the impact of civics on political attitudes of adolescents. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Maryland. Beck, P. A. (1977). The role of agents in political socialization. In S. A. Renshon (Ed.), Handbook of political socialization (pp. 115-141). New York: The Free Press. Blankenship, G. (1990). Classroom climate, global knowledge, global attitudes, political attitudes. Theory and Research in Social Education, 18 (4), 363-384. Brody, R. A. (1994). Secondary education and political attitudes: Examining the effects on political tolerance of We the People…curriculum. Calabasas, CA: Center for Civic Education. Center for Civic Education. (1998). We the People…Project Citizen: Student text. Calabasas, CA: Center for Civic Education. Center for Civic Education. (2000). We the People…Project Citizen: A professional development manual. Calabasas, CA: Center for Civic Education. Center for Civic Education. (2003). We the People…Project Citizen. Retrieved October 16, 2003, from http://www.civiced.org/project_citizen.html#intro. Chaffee S. H., Jackson-Beeck, M., Durall, J., & Wilson, D. (1977). Mass communication in political socialization. In S. A. Renshon (Ed.), Handbook of political socialization, (pp. 223-258). New York: The Free Press. Chaffee, S. H., & Becker, L. B. (1975). Young voters’ reactions to early Watergate issues. American Political Quarterly, 3, 360-385. Chang, H. (1993). 民主法治教育之研究 [A study of democratic and law-related education]. Taipei, Taiwan: Shi-Da Shu Yuan.. Chang, H., Wu, M., & Liou, S. (1999). 合作學習在公民 教 育 中 的 意 義 [The implications of cooperative learning in citizenship education]. Bulletin of Civic and Moral Education, 8, 123-152. Chen, C. (1993). Effects of student background on elementary school children’s political attitudes in Chiayi, Taiwan, the Republic of China. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Northern Colorado. Chen, C. (1994). 北、高兩市國中學生政治認知與態度之 研 究 [A study on the political knowledge and political attitudes of junior high school students in Taipei and Kaohsiung cities]. Unpublished master thesis, National Taiwan Normal University. Chen, F. (1995). 價值澄清式法治教學對國中生法治知 識與態度影響之實驗研究 [An experimental study of the impact that values clarification law-related education approach on junior high students’ knowledge and attitude of rule of law]. Unpublished master thesis, National Taiwan Normal University. Cheng, H. (2001). 高中生公民參與態度與行為之研究: 以台北市公立高中為例 [A study of high school students’ attitudes toward and behaviors of civic participation: A case study of Taipei’s public high school students]. Unpublished master thesis, National Taiwan Normal University. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Connell, R. W. (1971). The child’s construction of politics. Melbourne, Australia: Melbourne University Press. Deng, Y., Wen, M., Chang, S., & Doong, S. (1997). 邁向 廿一世紀的公民教育—公民教材發展取向之探討 [Civic education for the 21st century: An inquiry into the development of civic teaching materials]. Paper presented at the Symposium of the Orientation of Civic Education for the 21st Century. Taipei, Taiwan. Dominick, J. (1972). Television and political socialization. Educational Broadcasting Review, 6, 48-56. Doong, S. (2001, November). Reconstructing political education in Taiwan: A study on perspectives of teacher educators and senior high school teachers of civic/citizenship education. Paper presented at the.

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