Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Source

ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education


Indiana University, Social Studies Development Center


Public affairs instructors must routinely contend with the reality that stressing the importance of political knowledge is challenging in an era of declining student interest in politics and political institutions. Yet enhancing students' knowledge about public affairs can stimulate more interest and engagement in public affairs, particularly if instructors illustrate the importance of political ideology in public affairs. Since one of the most fundamental questions in U.S. political history centers around the proper role of the federal government in society, students' interest in public affairs can be enhanced by assisting them in discovering their own political identities in an ideological sense. This enrichment of political knowledge is instrumental in attempting to promote a greater understanding of the relevance and importance of public affairs to students' lives and those of their peers. (Contains 12 references, and tables on American adult political knowledge, college freshman attitudes, and questions for students about public affairs and public officials.)


Citizenship Education, Federal State Relationship, Higher Education, Ideology, Political Attitudes, Political Issues, Politics, Public Affairs Education, Undergraduate Study


Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration



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