Newswise — With the student-led March for Our Lives scheduled for March 24, an expert at the University of California, Riverside, is available to comment on topics related to the outpouring of student activism that has occurred in the wake of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
Joseph Kahne, a professor of educational policy and politics in UCR’s Graduate School of Education (and a former public high school teacher), studies various aspects of youth political and civic engagement, as well as what schools can do to enable and encourage more thoughtful activity.
His recent research explores how digital media — including social networks, YouTube videos, and web-based “fake news” — impacts and shapes youth engagement in political processes and discourse.
“There’s no doubt that many youth will be active and engaged both online and offline — even if schools do nothing,” Kahne said. “But our research also makes it clear that when students learn about issues, how to judge the credibility of what they find online, and about ways to get involved, they become more interested and engaged and become better able to identify and formulate well-reasoned and supported perspectives.”
Kahne holds the Ted and Jo Dutton Presidential Chair in Educational Policy and Politics and heads the Civic Engagement Research Group at UCR. The group’s current projects include the Educating for Democracy Deep Dive, a collection of videos and instructional materials produced in partnership with Teaching Channel, and Educating for Democracy in the Digital Age, an initiative that provides students in the Oakland Unified School District with the kinds of civic learning opportunities and digital-media literacy trainings that will empower them to make differences in their own communities.