Edited by John Ishiyama, William J. Miller and Eszter Simon
Chapter 6: Student and civic engagement: cultivating the skills, efficacy and identities that increase student involvement in learning and in public life
Today, higher education institutions are called upon to advance two goals: increase student learning and success rates; and cultivate citizens capable of sustaining democracy. These goals are complementary. The same pedagogical approaches and institutional characteristics that predict our students’ success also promote their long-term participation in public life. Both academic success and citizenship are advanced when students are engaged as active members of a learning community – especially when that community not only structures opportunities for meaningful engagement, but cultivates the shared norm that taking advantage of such opportunities is expected. The underpinning goals of both the student engagement movement (which ultimately depends on shaping students’ academic identities and intrinsic motivations for undertaking scholarly endeavors as learners) and the civic engagement movement (which ultimately depends on shaping students’ civic identities and intrinsic motivations for undertaking public work as citizens) are normative.
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